Law School Discussion

Would I be considered "Non-traditional"?


Would I be considered "Non-traditional"?
« on: January 22, 2009, 07:48:25 AM »
Hi, all.  I'm new to the board.  I'm curious if I would be considered a "non-traditional" student.  When I apply, I will be 26 years old.  I have been out of undergraduate for almost 3 and have been working full-time since.  Here are my stats:

UG: Tier 1 National University, GPA: 3.6
Work Exp: 3 years at major Investment Bank
LSAT: planning on taking June '09 (I think I will do well, but too early to tell at this point)

Will this give me a leg up over more traditional applicants?  My targets are Columbia (stretch), NYU (stretch), Penn, Fordham (PT), and Georgetown (PT).  Just curious what you think my chances are.

Thanks in advance for the help!


Re: Would I be considered "Non-traditional"?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 08:51:26 AM »
Personally, I would say no.
The reason is because being out of undergrad for a couple of years doen't really count. Most of the students that are applying to law school straight from undergrad are going to be 23-24ish, so you're not necessarily much older. You are slightly older than the average applicant but not really.
But your age alone is not why I would say no.
Non-trad generally refers to someone that is leaving a career and coming back to school to change careers. So if you took a year or two off t work or do Peace Corps or TFA then you'll find yourself in the company of many that have done the same thing. Which makes you kind of "traditional" in that respect.

But a typical Non-trad student is one that is using law school to either completely change their current profession or further their current profession. Typically they will have been out of undergrad for closer to 10 years (giving them enough to have been in an established career), they may have a family with children in school, own a home, and have been completely independent of their parents and parental support for things like school and bills for quite some time.

A traditional law school applicant will most likely have tried to get some work experience under his/her belt so a couple of years of trying to beef up your resume simply for the purposes of applying to law school will not make you so different.
Just my opinion. There's no parameters for being non-traditional.

Re: Would I be considered "Non-traditional"?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 12:06:01 PM »
Agreed, there's no set definition of "non-trad".  But top-tier UG, moderately-high GPA, and a couple of years in I-banking, actually describes quite a few law students/applicants I know.  I think that's actually a fairly "traditional" background for law school. 

At this point, all that really matters is your LSAT score.

Re: Would I be considered "Non-traditional"?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 12:44:05 PM »
I'm no expert, but I don't think so. 

I consider myself non-traditional.  I'm 33, married 10 years, one child, graduated from undergrad in '97.  I've been a real estate broker for seven years and recently became a foster parent.

Not sure if that's the answer you're looking for, but it's best to know what's what.