Does age/degree matter?


llm06
Hi everyone,
I just got turned down by both HLS and Cornell. I know competition is tough but I really thought I would get into Cornell if not HLS.

I was wondering is it possible that if you haven't yet graduated with a first law degree as in my case that it works against you. I'm 24 and will be graduating in May. I've published articles in journals and law reviews and I am in the top 3% of my class.

Just trying to justify the rejections i guess.
Hi everyone,
I just got turned down by both HLS and Cornell. I know competition is tough but I really thought I would get into Cornell if not HLS.

I was wondering is it possible that if you haven't yet graduated with a first law degree as in my case that it works against you. I'm 24 and will be graduating in May. I've published articles in journals and law reviews and I am in the top 3% of my class.

Just trying to justify the rejections i guess.
quote
hannenyh
Don't some law schools put a lot of weight on work experience as well? I don't know if that is the case with HLS and Cornell, but that certainly would make sense.
Don't some law schools put a lot of weight on work experience as well? I don't know if that is the case with HLS and Cornell, but that certainly would make sense.
quote
gar33
Hi everyone,
I just got turned down by both HLS and Cornell. I know competition is tough but I really thought I would get into Cornell if not HLS.

I was wondering is it possible that if you haven't yet graduated with a first law degree as in my case that it works against you. I'm 24 and will be graduating in May. I've published articles in journals and law reviews and I am in the top 3% of my class.

Just trying to justify the rejections i guess.


Hi llm06!

I'm sorry to hear those bad news...

I'm 22 and got into HLS, NYU and Chicago (my choice: HLS). Yale rejected my application, I believe (haven't heard from them since January or so...). I will graduate this summer, summa cum laude, have published works, interships, etc. So, it seems that we are pretty much in the same situation, except that I was lucky and you weren't. Here is my explanation: age does matter, but it isn't a dominant factor. I invested a lot in my statements and tried to show my intellectual maturity. I guess this was an important factor. However, it seems that it didn't work out in Yale.

This doen't mean that it is impossible to get in before graduation, as my case partially demonstrates. But since they are reluctant to accept young people, competition is harder for us. I would say that being a top student with honours, awards and published works is just a "quid minimum". You also need a lot of luck. Your nationality is also a potential factor: they seem to prefer an Indian or a Philippine than a Portuguese (my country). Actually, I can't blame them for that and I wish my Indian and Phillipine friends posting here a lot of success. This is an unfair world but hopefully there is a God out there taking care of the rationale of the whole thing.

Best wishes. Try again next year: you will most likely succeed!
<blockquote>Hi everyone,
I just got turned down by both HLS and Cornell. I know competition is tough but I really thought I would get into Cornell if not HLS.

I was wondering is it possible that if you haven't yet graduated with a first law degree as in my case that it works against you. I'm 24 and will be graduating in May. I've published articles in journals and law reviews and I am in the top 3% of my class.

Just trying to justify the rejections i guess. </blockquote>

Hi llm06!

I'm sorry to hear those bad news...

I'm 22 and got into HLS, NYU and Chicago (my choice: HLS). Yale rejected my application, I believe (haven't heard from them since January or so...). I will graduate this summer, summa cum laude, have published works, interships, etc. So, it seems that we are pretty much in the same situation, except that I was lucky and you weren't. Here is my explanation: age does matter, but it isn't a dominant factor. I invested a lot in my statements and tried to show my intellectual maturity. I guess this was an important factor. However, it seems that it didn't work out in Yale.

This doen't mean that it is impossible to get in before graduation, as my case partially demonstrates. But since they are reluctant to accept young people, competition is harder for us. I would say that being a top student with honours, awards and published works is just a "quid minimum". You also need a lot of luck. Your nationality is also a potential factor: they seem to prefer an Indian or a Philippine than a Portuguese (my country). Actually, I can't blame them for that and I wish my Indian and Phillipine friends posting here a lot of success. This is an unfair world but hopefully there is a God out there taking care of the rationale of the whole thing.

Best wishes. Try again next year: you will most likely succeed!
quote
Mila
Hi llm06,
It might have worked a bit against you, although your chances of being admitted are not zero. Officially, application committees are age blind (or so I was told) but of course it will be a bit harder at young age to have sufficient interesting activities on your resume.
When I started this entire application process, some professors warned me I might not be accepted because of my age. However, I was accepted to HLS, Chicago, Cornell and several others.
In my opinion your credentials seem really good and not so much different from mine. I will also be graduating this year, was ranked first in my class. Also some publications, law review, an internship at UN, different research assistantships and I am the elected student representative of all law student in the faculty board. Well, I wont bore you with further details.
In short, I think that if you are still pretty young and you don't have much work experience you need to be a bit more lucky. Probably if you try again next year you will stand a really good chance.

By the way, one other thing I have been wondering. Did you have really good recommendation letters? Mine were from two professors that are currently at Harvard (both visiting faculty though). It might have made a difference in me being lucky.

Well good luck!
Hi llm06,
It might have worked a bit against you, although your chances of being admitted are not zero. Officially, application committees are age blind (or so I was told) but of course it will be a bit harder at young age to have sufficient interesting activities on your resume.
When I started this entire application process, some professors warned me I might not be accepted because of my age. However, I was accepted to HLS, Chicago, Cornell and several others.
In my opinion your credentials seem really good and not so much different from mine. I will also be graduating this year, was ranked first in my class. Also some publications, law review, an internship at UN, different research assistantships and I am the elected student representative of all law student in the faculty board. Well, I wont bore you with further details.
In short, I think that if you are still pretty young and you don't have much work experience you need to be a bit more lucky. Probably if you try again next year you will stand a really good chance.

By the way, one other thing I have been wondering. Did you have really good recommendation letters? Mine were from two professors that are currently at Harvard (both visiting faculty though). It might have made a difference in me being lucky.

Well good luck!
quote
Mila
Hi gar, this is funny. Posted at the same time and similar responses...
When I typed my story, yours wasn't there yet. I could have saved myself the effort:)
Hi gar, this is funny. Posted at the same time and similar responses...
When I typed my story, yours wasn't there yet. I could have saved myself the effort:)
quote
gar33
Hi gar, this is funny. Posted at the same time and similar responses...
When I typed my story, yours wasn't there yet. I could have saved myself the effort:)


Ha, ha! HLS coordination, I guess :-)

More seriously: It is quite helpfull for our friend to find out that at least two persons with rather comparable "terms of trade" feel the same.
<blockquote>Hi gar, this is funny. Posted at the same time and similar responses...
When I typed my story, yours wasn't there yet. I could have saved myself the effort:)</blockquote>

Ha, ha! HLS coordination, I guess :-)

More seriously: It is quite helpfull for our friend to find out that at least two persons with rather comparable "terms of trade" feel the same.
quote
josepidal
HEY! I'm from the Philippines! Just kidding. I was honestly also very concerned because I was just a fresh graduate with no work experience when I applied. Same as you guys, I did well enough in class, chaired the law journal, and published several articles. Perhaps in terms of interesting experiences, I guess I was just lucky. I had the opportunity to assist a law school dean who made an amicus presentation before the national Supreme Court regarding the impeachment of my country's Chief Justice, and the opportunity to work with senators and Supreme Court Justices because of the law journal. I hoped that made me sound older (applied for and was accepted in HLS and NYU).
HEY! I'm from the Philippines! Just kidding. I was honestly also very concerned because I was just a fresh graduate with no work experience when I applied. Same as you guys, I did well enough in class, chaired the law journal, and published several articles. Perhaps in terms of interesting experiences, I guess I was just lucky. I had the opportunity to assist a law school dean who made an amicus presentation before the national Supreme Court regarding the impeachment of my country's Chief Justice, and the opportunity to work with senators and Supreme Court Justices because of the law journal. I hoped that made me sound older (applied for and was accepted in HLS and NYU).
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anushka
A lot of people applied with no work experience...in my case, I applied with very little experience and I was afraid that was going to be a disadvantage. I graduated top 5% of my class and i speak 4 languages so I gave it a shot and applied to top schools anyway. I'm 25 now. Got rejected from HLS but admited to NYU though. I definitely think the parametres when it comes to admissions have to do with the "whole picture" of the candidate. I mean, there are 22-year-old recent graduates and also 30 something experienced attorneys admitted to the best law schools in the US. Age? I don't think it matters that much...serisously.
A lot of people applied with no work experience...in my case, I applied with very little experience and I was afraid that was going to be a disadvantage. I graduated top 5% of my class and i speak 4 languages so I gave it a shot and applied to top schools anyway. I'm 25 now. Got rejected from HLS but admited to NYU though. I definitely think the parametres when it comes to admissions have to do with the "whole picture" of the candidate. I mean, there are 22-year-old recent graduates and also 30 something experienced attorneys admitted to the best law schools in the US. Age? I don't think it matters that much...serisously.
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black
Age discrimination is illegal in the US. I truly believe Americans do not pay as much attention to age as other parts of the world do (Europe for instance). What is important is to show that at your considered age, you made a difference and will in the future.
btw, i am 32 and did not get in HLS (although with law school distinctions, good recommendation letters, experience in big firms, etc. I think my essay, written way too fast, was not outstanding).
Good luck to all. The younger have time to re-apply next year. This works in the US. I have friends who made it to HLS on their second application. This is an option older people will consider less.
Age discrimination is illegal in the US. I truly believe Americans do not pay as much attention to age as other parts of the world do (Europe for instance). What is important is to show that at your considered age, you made a difference and will in the future.
btw, i am 32 and did not get in HLS (although with law school distinctions, good recommendation letters, experience in big firms, etc. I think my essay, written way too fast, was not outstanding).
Good luck to all. The younger have time to re-apply next year. This works in the US. I have friends who made it to HLS on their second application. This is an option older people will consider less.
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gar33
Both me and Mila stressed that age is not a decisive factor. But it is a factor, no doubt. Certainly it is an indirect factor: younger people with no work experience, still in college and less published works, just to mention some issues, have less impressive credentials than elder ones with similar intellectual and working skills. This is, I believe, undeniable. Arguably, age is also a direct factor: for instance, as I am still in college any board of admissions might feel I am not mature enough for an LL.M. This is almost a necessary factor, even if someone counsciously try to deny its relevance.

Anti-discrmination policies are hard to enforce even when everybody wants to comply with them. There are cultural, contextual and institutional factors that often, although perhaps with no more than marginal impact, influence the degree of compliance. The literature on the issue is abundant, by the way. Mostly written by law professors, often teaching at some american university :-)
Both me and Mila stressed that age is not a decisive factor. But it is a factor, no doubt. Certainly it is an indirect factor: younger people with no work experience, still in college and less published works, just to mention some issues, have less impressive credentials than elder ones with similar intellectual and working skills. This is, I believe, undeniable. Arguably, age is also a direct factor: for instance, as I am still in college any board of admissions might feel I am not mature enough for an LL.M. This is almost a necessary factor, even if someone counsciously try to deny its relevance.

Anti-discrmination policies are hard to enforce even when everybody wants to comply with them. There are cultural, contextual and institutional factors that often, although perhaps with no more than marginal impact, influence the degree of compliance. The literature on the issue is abundant, by the way. Mostly written by law professors, often teaching at some american university :-)
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Milos
and what about speed of studying? in my country (i'm from serbia) it's very difficult to finish ll.b. for only 4 years. we're in the middle of the bologne proccess, and it will be ok for futire generations of students.

any opinions?
and what about speed of studying? in my country (i'm from serbia) it's very difficult to finish ll.b. for only 4 years. we're in the middle of the bologne proccess, and it will be ok for futire generations of students.

any opinions?
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dcllm
At American we have students across the age spectrum -- young, middle-aged, and older. I would say that most are younger students. With this in mind, I would think that younger students have more competition because more younger students are applying for a limited number of seats. Law schools want a diverse class of students, including age, so this only adds to the competition.
At American we have students across the age spectrum -- young, middle-aged, and older. I would say that most are younger students. With this in mind, I would think that younger students have more competition because more younger students are applying for a limited number of seats. Law schools want a diverse class of students, including age, so this only adds to the competition.
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ozman
Hi guys i have read all the posts here... and i must say i find them extremely useful...i am 23 yrs old and i have done my llb from the uni of london(external programme)... my grades were no where near great i only managed a lower second class honours(Averaging almost 57%), i have also done the bar vocational course from london, this essentially makes me a Barrister in england and wales, i.e. i can appear in court, my grades over here were also not brilliant(overall average of 62%)... i will be starting my llm at queen mary university of london this year... however i wish to pursue a second llm at one of the top law schools in the USA... i am a pakistani national... can anyone here advise me as to what course of action i can/should take, whether i have any chance of getting into a good american law school, my only work experience is some part time teaching and summer internships... please advise...
Hi guys i have read all the posts here... and i must say i find them extremely useful...i am 23 yrs old and i have done my llb from the uni of london(external programme)... my grades were no where near great i only managed a lower second class honours(Averaging almost 57%), i have also done the bar vocational course from london, this essentially makes me a Barrister in england and wales, i.e. i can appear in court, my grades over here were also not brilliant(overall average of 62%)... i will be starting my llm at queen mary university of london this year... however i wish to pursue a second llm at one of the top law schools in the USA... i am a pakistani national... can anyone here advise me as to what course of action i can/should take, whether i have any chance of getting into a good american law school, my only work experience is some part time teaching and summer internships... please advise...
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