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tortNretort

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« on: December 17, 2007, 12:43:11 PM »
   ;D >:(

insomniac

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2007, 01:03:31 PM »
Where can you go geographically? Do you have any major constraints due to family, etc? Are you thinking part or full time? Will you be ready to shoot off the applications as soon as the LSATs come back? At 42, your PS probably needs to address why the change (both why now and why at all). Answer those questions in a well-written, interesting way. I think the 3.6 will be okay- long enough ago that less important in the overall context, and not so low as to be preclusive at most schools that a 169 will poise you for. I'm also non-traditional- if you'd like, PM me and I'll send you my PS. Doubt it's inspiring, but it may help.

Sylvester Pennoyer

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 09:16:12 PM »
I really recommend you figure out where it is you'll want to be in three years and make your pick from the best schools in that market.  Those scores can get you wherever that is. 

I went to school in a different place than I now hope to live, and I am quickly learning that geography is a lot more important than message board prestige.  Once you're in, the only thing that matters is that you went to a school that the firm you want to work for thinks is good.  You also can't underestimate the advantage, in terms of networking, of living in the city where you eventually intend to practice. 

Also, I would not shy away from the T14 with that work experience.  Law schools seem to get bored with the cookie cutter applicants and have a tendency to root for the "old" guy.


rsr28

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2007, 09:39:19 PM »
Quote
...My transcript says 3.74 but my LSDAS "digested transcript" says 3.61. This is an A-to-A+ average, according to my school, but it looks like a high B-to-B+...

Two things:

1) Not sure how that could be an A- to A+ average at your school if A-'s get awarded a 4.0 (as you said) -- maybe you meant A or A+ is a 4.  Either way, your average of 3.74 is A- or (generously) A making that assumption.  If A-'s are 4, as you said, your 3.74 is B+ to A-.
2) According to LSAC's system, 3.61 is a high-B+/low A- average -- close to an A- than anything else.

Anyways, before you get worked up about where to apply, wait until your LSAT score comes in (it's only a week or two now :) ).  I was practicing relatively similar to you (started with a 168, except that after that I was never below 170 -- but had the same high as you of 178) and ended up with a 170.  But as I said, wait for the score to figure out your reaches, etc.  However, you should know your safeties by now so you can definitely fill out apps for them.  Also, write your PS, get your LOR's squared away, touch up your resume, and fill out the common information form.  If you do all this stuff, filling out applications should take NO MORE than an hour after the first one or two.

Good luck!

botbot

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2007, 07:36:54 PM »
Everyone over the age of 30 in law school is extra miserable, have fun.

Also your classmates will hate you

Astro

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2007, 08:29:04 PM »
My advice is to always, ALWAYS listen to Matthies.

Always.
 
I'm dead serious.


Also, don't write your PS about your work history unless you think it's fascinating.  Your PS doesn't have to be about why you're changing careers.  It just has to be about why you're a fascinating addition to X school.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

yoyodawg

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 12:33:14 PM »
My advice is to always, ALWAYS listen to Matthies.

Always.
 
I'm dead serious.


Also, don't write your PS about your work history unless you think it's fascinating.  Your PS doesn't have to be about why you're changing careers.  It just has to be about why you're a fascinating addition to X school.


Yeah, Mathhies is quite the know-it-all. Comes off as a little pretentious, and he spends way too much time on this board for a JD student. (or is he a practicing attorney or is he an LLM candidate? ...you get conflicting evidence from his past posts on this board and his posts over in the students and graduates section of the board...)I also wonder whether he really has any social skills, and whether he will be a bachelor for the rest of his life. But other than that, he gives pretty good advice.

big - fat - box

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 01:35:00 PM »
Something to consider:

While your grades/scores may get you into a top 15 law school, I'd recommend looking into things a bit more...talk to some non-trads who went to top schools.

The reason for this is that I've heard from some students here (who are in their early-mid 30s) at my top school that some of the big firms tend to shy away from them partly because of their age. Now, I don't know if the majority of big firms do this, but it is something you should definitely investigate before plunking down $180K in borrowed money for law school. The reason I mention this is because with that debt, you'll likely need a job that will enable you to service that debt, which for most students at top schools means a big firm.

You aren't likely to get wholly accurate information from the career services office at the schools either...definitely talk to non-trad lawyers who are working at big firms now to get more info.

I wouldn't get your hopes up about international law. Most graduates of U.S. law schools practice in the U.S. and "international law" is simply a pipe dream for most.

Also, you should look into what lawyers actually do and not fall for the glamour, glitz, and prestige some associate with the profession. Lawyers work long hours and a lot of the work could be described as boring. Work weeks of 70-80 hours or more are not uncommon either.

big - fat - box

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 04:16:58 PM »

Understood. I'm certainly thinking in terms of salary-to-debt probabilities. I hadn't heard before of the possibility that being an older applicant for a big-firm type of job would be a liability. I wonder how I'm going to research into that issue ... hummm ...  ???

You could start by checking the big firms in the cities near you. Go to their websites, look at attorney bios, and see if there are lawyers who obtained their law degrees later in life. Then try contacting them for informational interviews. You can also use martindale.com though that may require a bit more playing around with...look for a long number of years between the year an attorney got their bachelor's degree and when they got their law degree. You could also contact the local bar association for the city / state you live and try to find someone who can hook you up with a non-trad attorney mentor or someone who knows someone you can talk to for more info.

.

Quote
Really? I would have thought it would be something rather uninteresting to most. I frankly have no idea what it really means, I just want to work in Rio or Tokyo or ... I dunno, Teguchigalpa or somewhere. I'm not so much interested in { the laws which govern international relations among nations or countries or companies or people } as I am in { working in a form of law which will enable international geographical locations for my workplace }. Make sense?

Doesn't matter. Again, most graduates of US law schools practice in the US. The big exception is foreign LLM students, some of whom go back to their home countries to practice but these people are already lawyers in there home countries before they obtain the LLM. Even getting a job at a foreign law firm in a developing country can be more difficult than you think...plus the pay will be a lot lower than what you'd get at an American law firm. OR a foreign branch of an American firm (hard to land).


Quote
or I can get further certification and thus, at the WORST, do the same thing for four times the salary.

Well, that isn't entirely accurate. The problem is that if you are making about $30K now, and you want to make "four times that" means you will most likely need to work at a big firm. To work at a big firm you'll need to go to a top law school (like top 15 or better where 65-75% or more get such jobs) to have good prospects at those firms. If you don't get into those schools, the odds dip considerably as you go down the rankings. After you get outside the top 25 or so, the odds are not very good at all.

AND pay drops off considerably outside of the big firms. Most new lawyers are making $50K if they're lucky while dealing with considerable student debt loads. The legal job market is not good, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not being honest. Here is a much talked about article you might want to take a look at:

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119040786780835602.html

If your goal is to make money, forget about criminal law unless you want to do corporate white collar criminal defense.

Sergio

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Re: Older student?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2007, 03:11:38 AM »
Over 30 students are extra miserable in law school?  Great, I'm 30 and applying now.  Of course with my upper-150's LSAT, I dont need to worry about whether to go to a top-14 school  :-\