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Author Topic: Law School at 52  (Read 8327 times)

like_lasagna

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2011, 03:19:00 AM »
Your 52 and don't start school until Late August.  Withthe 4 year plan -you won't be practicing law until age 57ish. 

In a different day and age, this might be a good reason not to attend.

These days, people stay healthy much, much longer.

They also intend to work much, much longer. 

It's not uncommon to see people practicing law past their 70th birthday. 

The law is one of the few professions where it's probably feasible to be long in the tooth, yet still be able to function at a high level, provided your mind stays sharp.

Employers are not going to be crazy about that.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 08:39:52 AM »
Employers are not going to be crazy about that.

True, but there are two factors that come in to play, here.

First, age discrimination is illegal.  Granted, some of the private sector employees will skirt that just by finding other reasons not to hire you.  However, governmental agencies are closely regulated and scrutinized and are ripe for an age discrimination lawsuit if they hire a lesser-qualified young person over a better-qualified oldster.

Second, you can always hang out a shingle and some clients prefer dealing with somebody with a few gray hairs on their head.  Ironically, the hard-charging young person who is 27 and is making bank as a biglaw associate is likely to make less of an impression than a mid-50s attorney with comparable experience in a lot of situations because real-world clients seldom ask for your class-rank or GPA, but they know a person who appears experienced and competent.

Duncanjp

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 01:51:22 AM »
I'm tearing myself away from writing practice exams in preparation for my contracts and torts finals, but what the hey. I need a little break. I'm a 1L at a night law school with nearly 100 other 1Ls, and there are several of us attending who are 50-52. In fact, there are even a couple of people who appear to be crowding 60. Most of the students average around 35 years old. Age does not seem to matter in the greater scheme of things. There's a certain camaraderie that compels everybody to help each other out, regardless of age. People judge you on how well you perform in class and on the exams. Be ready to share your outlines and notes with everybody, and never miss a class. Excel and others will want to get to know you and learn how you do it. Be lazy with the reading, stay home with every case of the sniffles, come unprepared to class, do poorly on the tests you'll find yourself going it alone. Nobody in law school wants to hang with the losers, and age has nothing to do with it.

That said, I think a fabulous education at a top tier law school when you're over 50 is a waste of money at least for many people. At this age, the only thing that matters is to get the license. It's too late in life at this point for the prestige to pay off, and the cost of an ABA school can be staggering. Just my opinion, mind you. That doesn't mean you should settle for the Fly-By-Night Law School and its McJ.D. program. Those grads don't pass the Bar in high numbers. But you might find a reputable, state-accredited school that will give you a decent chance to pass the Bar without costing the price of a second house. And you'll study the same subjects and use the same textbooks as the ABA schools use. Once you pass the Bar, at this age it isn't terribly important where you went to school. The people who would care about where you got your J.D. won't hire you anyway. They want young lawyers with bright futures ahead of them. Age discrimination may be illegal, but they're attorneys themselves. They know how to handle the law.

It is absolutely true, however, that a 50-something student is not going to be invited to the local bar with the 20-somethings for pre-class shots of tequila. But honestly, who gives a rip? I can't deny, drinking in the service and college was fun when I was in my 20s, so I don't blame them for a thing. But I have no interest in watching younger people get liquored up before or after class. Being old enough to be their father would make me feel terribly out of place anyway. If you're 52, you're going to look for people with whom you share some common interests. You'll probably gravitate toward the older students first, then you'll find people who work in fields related to yours. I know all the veterans in my class because I was a Marine, and it's a bond that transcends age. Beyond that, I've made numerous friends who are maybe 15 years younger than I am, and we're getting close simply on a fellow-classmates level. Everyone wants a support network. So as previous writers have said, your acceptance by other students will depend more upon how you conduct yourself socially and what you bring to class than how old you are. But if you're looking for a date, a photography class is a better bet.

financialandtaxguy

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 03:11:50 AM »
So, I got accepted into a top 100 law school at the tender age of 52. I am excited in that I always wanted to be a lawyer, took my first lsat back when dinosaurs walked the earth, but other priorities prevailed.  Will start fall 2011; but have a question...... how will my "classmates" view me?  really don't want 4 years (going part time due to job) of being alienated.... just curious.

If you turn out like this lady in the link below, who graduated from Washington University law school at age 54, still working at age 81, you will have done a lot of good for American Society.  I'm 51, Married for 27 years, 8 children, Financial and Tax Adviser, attending law school online, studying for my second attempt at the Baby Bar in CA, and hope it all works out for you also.  Not sure I am willing to pay for the cost of traditional law school or get into debt for it at my age.  Anyway, here is the link to this famous lady who graduated law school at age 54 and has a large following - http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/bio.html

FalconJimmy

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2011, 11:36:11 AM »

Anyway, here is the link to this famous lady who graduated law school at age 54 and has a large following - http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/bio.html

Wow, that's really, really inspirational!

IrrX

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2011, 11:16:27 AM »

Anyway, here is the link to this famous lady who graduated law school at age 54 and has a large following - http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/bio.html

Wow, that's really, really inspirational!

If you find pinwheels-in-the-eyes-crazy inspirational, sure.
Note: Insults made by me apply to everything associated with the people and ideas being insulted, except for other people.

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IRRX, it seems you enjoy provocation and antagonism.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2011, 02:17:24 PM »

If you find pinwheels-in-the-eyes-crazy inspirational, sure.

Far as I'm concerned, that's the best kind of inspirational.

:)

jollyrog

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2011, 12:17:05 PM »

The folks who are going to have trouble will be the old guys who go in thinking that they have a bunch of wisdom to impart on young people and who never shut up about how they did this, or that, or whatever.  The other law students aren't your kids, they're your peers.  If you show them that respect, they will likely reciprocate.

To the OP, I am pretty much in your boat/have a very similar backstory, except I'm headed into year two. Falcon is correct; treat the kids as your peers, and you'll get plenty of respect.

In my case, I've got young twenty-something kid, was around a lot of younger guys when I was in the Navy, and work in a "young" industry, so I'm a bit more up to speed with some of what the kids watch/listen to/think is important, etc. than a lot of 50-somethings, and I'm more tech-savvy than even most of my younger classmates. I don't know your situation, but all of that helps me.

At my school I am The Class Old Guy, and I've discovered that there's a combination of respect, intimidation (I found out via the grapevine that I intimidate a lot of them - and I'm a very friendly guy, so it's not intentional), and what-is-he-doing-here?, and genuine friendship among my classmates. Being part-time, I miss out on a lot of the social stuff, but mainly because I'm not available - I get invited to parties/functions/bars,etc. which I find gratifying and attend when time permits - but I'm also spared a lot of the "kiddie" drama that goes on, for which I'm grateful.

I've never heard a disparaging remark about my age (except for obvious, good-natured jokes), either directly or via the grapevine, but then again, my school is one of the most cordial/least cutthroat in the country, so your experience may differ. Then again, don't forget, your experience will intimidate some of these kids and some may resent the competition. I still anticipate as we get closer to graduation and it dawns on some that they are, on balance, at a competitive disadvantage (in some cases - in others, e.g. biglaw, we geezers have basically no shot) because of our experience, some of it may manifest itself that way.

I suspect your experience will be similar. But, congratulations, and good for you!

SURGEONMD

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2011, 03:14:54 PM »
Hello, and congratulations on  your acceptance to lawschool!

I am wondering if you could comment on your decision tree and
career path.

I am a surgeon, your exact age and I would like to transition from
the trenches of clinical medicine/surgery to policy making in medicine/washington
d.c....or something in health law.  I'm looking for advice and frank discussion.

I've talked to many people such as health care administrators, they say unless
an MD has gotten right into administration early in one's career, it's impossible
to break in in middle age, even with an MBA or MHA.

Although I had dedicated my life to being a surgeon, the climate in clinical medicine is dismal..
It's such an unhappy profession at this point. it's hard to think of doing yet more training
or education after what i've done already, but unless an MD stays in clinical after
a certain age, there's NO transition available..not with an MBA/MHA, etc.
Plus I live in the mid west, and do not like it at all.  I'm a displaced north easterner.
To try to move to a new practice or set up a new solo practice at this age is not
possible.

Are there any clinicians with no administrative experience who are embarking on
a JD with an eye toward working in Health Law or government (not staying in
clinical?)

I know the time and expense that law school would involve...med school, internship,
residency and fellowship have topped all of that...

I just want to take my life into a better direction and get back to the east coast,
specifically washington dc area where my husband has just taken a  high level
govenment job.

Thank y our for listening and for any thoughtful replies.

jollyrog

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Re: Law School at 52
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2011, 09:20:02 PM »

I am wondering if you could comment on your decision tree and
career path.
...


Although I had dedicated my life to being a surgeon, the climate in clinical medicine is dismal..

I know the time and expense that law school would involve...med school, internship,
residency and fellowship have topped all of that...

I just want to take my life into a better direction and get back to the east coast,
specifically washington dc area where my husband has just taken a  high level
govenment job.


For starters, it sounds like you're considering this with your eyes open, and have pretty compelling reasons for a geographical - not to mention professional - change.

From my perspective, with the idea of leveraging my engineering experience in law practice, I'll give you the only advice I can offer is the bottom-line answer I gave myself after all of the soul-searching and evaluating: If I didn't do it, I knew I'd go to my grave regretting it. My first year has validated my decision.

We get one life, kiddo. My feeling is let's not hate what's left of it.

Best of luck to you, and let us know what you end up doing!