Older Students Improve Everyone’s Law School Experience
Not every law student was concluding undergraduate studies the year before starting law school. Granted, recent undergrads make up about half of a law school’s first-year student body. But roughly two out of five law students are between the ages of 25 and 39. One in ten is 40 or older. About one in five law school applications are from applicants over the age of 30. If one in two law students is a recent undergrad, then do the math.
Typically, it takes a considerable amount of time for lawyers to reach a certain level of comfort and confidence in practicing law. This is the first major job for many law-school graduates. Older students who have been members of the workforce have already gained a certain amount of comfort and confidence. For them, law school is less intimidating because they have already achieved professional success.
Law students are often in awe of older classmates who are parents, spouses, and full-time students. As a practical matter, having worked for several years, older students possess a different life perspective that contains a larger sphere of reality. The perspective of any person with experience in some job, profession, or field always seems to enhance the learning process.
Older law students bring a perspective and maturity that helps all students address problems and conflicts. They enhance classroom discussions and help bring organization and stability to group projects. Whatever their role, it’s a pleasure to have them in any educational setting.
Some over-40 law students may choose to attend law school as a second career for philosophical reasons. They may want to become advocates for a cause they sincerely support. CDTA teaches law students to be lawyers who are also advocates. Our curriculum, classroom structure, and online learning platform are conducive to developing our students into effective legal advocates in any context.
Upon graduation, CDTA graduates are not only qualified to become trial advocates for those individuals accused of a crime, injured by the negligence of another, or harmed by a defective product, but they are also qualified to become advocates for people, animals, and causes. CDTA’s special curriculum develops and emphasizes advocacy. This benefits every graduate that chooses to work for the government, nonprofits, or smaller firms where the success of the movement rather than profits is the primary goal and true measure of accomplishment.
Some older students choose law as a second career based on interest or experience in a specific professional area. Many older, experienced working people have had to deal with specific areas of the law in their professional lives. Every layperson has dealt with real estate law, landlord-tenant law, and employment law at some point in life. Some older students may already have an M.B.A. and want to further their careers by earning a Juris Doctorate. Their path through law school may often be more flexible and, therefore, present more options.
Discussions with legendary trial attorneys, F. Lee Bailey and Gerry Spence, inspired founders John Patrick Dolan and Irene Garcia Dolan to start the California Desert Trial Academy. In 2012, CDTA opened its doors featuring a more practical and modern approach to legal education. At CDTA, not only do we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys, we also train them to be exceptional trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.