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Nontrad with mortgage & family looking for input...


I'm 46 years old. I'm in Memphis.

I can get into Memphis and not add a lot of debt over the 3 years; maybe an extra $35k over my undergrad loans. I can do this with minimal, if any, LSAT prep (but I *WILL* be studying and prepping).  Cold diagnostic (online) was 153 and I went -14 on logic games, -5 & -10 on LR, and -8 on RC. 

I can bust my ass for 4-5 months and hypothetically/maybe score a 165-170 (maybe even a little higher), and combined with my projected gpa of 3.8 get some decent scholarship and with living expenses maybe be out an extra $75k over my undergrad loans.

When I graduate I'll be 51 years old. At this age does rank even matter considering how firms will likely ding me for being an old fart?

Maintain FL 350:
Considering your age and existing financial obligations, you may want to focus on minimizing your debt. At some point you'll want to retire, and you don't want an additional $1000 per month payment to deal with. If you can score very well on the LSAT you may be able to secure a substantial (or even full) scholarship at Memphis State. I think Memphis' average LSAT is around 155, so a score of 165+ might yield some positive results.

Another option is to attend part time in the evening. This would allow you to continue working, and you wouldn't have to take out loans to pay your mortgage. I believe that Tennessee is one of the few states that has state-accredited law schools, and they probably offer evening options. I know there is one in Nashville, I'm not sure about Memphis.

--- Quote from: Bobnoxious on January 19, 2013, 09:00:16 PM ---When I graduate I'll be 51 years old. At this age does rank even matter considering how firms will likely ding me for being an old fart?

--- End quote ---

Whether or not rank matters depends on your goals. Unless you're willing to pick up and move to another city for law school, and unless your goals include large law firms, I wouldn't worry about rank too much. I think it is possible that larger firms would ding you for being older. They tend to hire young associates fresh from top law schools, it's just the industry culture. At smaller offices, though, I don't think it would matter too much. For those smaller firms (or if you go solo) Memphis State is probably fine.

I don't know what your current profession is, but you may also want to consider the fact that you may experience a drop in salary initially. A new minted, inexperienced lawyer in a secondary market like Memphis, especially at a small firm, isn't likely to command a large starting salary. This is also a factor when you consider whether or not to take out loans.

I wouldn't count on any law firm or anyone else hiring you at age 51. The firms know they can't abuse a 51 year old the same way as they can a 27 year old. Better be ready to go solo and specialize in a field where there is a steady flow of paying customers like Workers Comp, SSA Disability, or Veterans Disability and fewer attorneys chasing the business.

Thanks for the replies:  I'm almost 100% sure I'll go to Memphis since I really don't want to leave my support network behind.  Skype just isn't the same as seeing family and friends.  Besides, I have a horrible time trying to sleep without the redheaded goddess next to me.

Re: practice areas

jonlevy, that's exactly what I have first and foremost as a plan right now, depending on how much of a mentor network I can build prior to graduation (social security, disability, and workers comp).  In addition to those areas I'll be using the business contacts I have across the state to do B2B collections work and insurance recovery on catastrophic property losses (water damage/fire damage). 


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