jennis8

Not Home for the Holidays

I can’t explain how delighted and pleased I am to have the house to myself. My husband and children left two days ago to drive ten-hours and spend the holiday with his family.  They will be gone for five full days.  As a 3rd year law student, with final exams and papers due in the next few weeks, my family knew I couldn’t spare the time to join them.  Although I have been studying, writing, and wasting little time, so much feels different.  I can do as I choose without feeling guilty- or at-least worried.  There is no one to…

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jennis8

An OWLS View: Another Advantage to Being an Older Law Student

Older “Wiser” Law Students (OWLS) generally have more experience which they can draw upon to provide context to their studies, along with greater financial resources, than younger students. Yet, overall, it is probably not advantageous to be an older law student.  Unlike the traditional student, many OWLS have children, spouses, aging parents, real estate responsibilities, and other obligations that “get in the way” of law school. However, last weekend the OWLS at my law school, had the advantage.  But first a little background. When I started  law school, it didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t like most students.…

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jennis8

Balance? A Day in This OWLS’s Life

Balance -  really?  To attend law school (or have a career), while you are a mom, wife, homeowner, etc., you need a lot of support – hired or donated – to really have “balance.” You need someone to clean, cook, wash clothes, grocery shop, drive children, pay bills, and be home to oversee repair or service callers. Without that help, you have to cut corners, make sacrifices, and accept less. A nanny, stay at home spouse, parent, or other person could and often does provide this support, although that typically requires financial means – often not available to law students.…

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jennis8

An OWLS View: The Signs of Aging vs. The Times of Anti-Aging

Droopy eyelids, wrinkled or sun-damaged skin, and sunken cheeks don't help older law students look as alert or prepared  as they may be for an assignment or interview.  Signs of aging may be mistaken for evidence of being tired, hung over, out of shape, etc.  Many OWLS I know want to look their best for upcoming interviews.  Some older students choose to have cosmetic procedures to freshen up and believe it will make them more competitive in the job market.  At a recent law-school fund raiser, which included attorneys from the community, procedures such as peels, facials, and injections were…

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jennis8

An OWLS View: Summer Interns, Externs and Associates

Summer Interns, Externs and Associates networking events are dominated by men and younger law students.   In addition to a few CLE events offered this season, I have attended a networking happy hour hosted by our county bar association, and a tour of the state supreme court, hosted by the state's Women's Lawyer Association.  Both events were underrepresented by OWLs and women.   My top-tier law school has more than 50 percent women- and a substantial number of OWLS, as do many law schools.  Yet, of the 80 associates, externs, and interns touring the state supreme court today, about 66%…

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jennis8

An OWLS View: Is Education Wasted on the Young?

Older students and  traditional students prepare for law school exams and paper deadlines differently.  Younger students frequently comment about being up all night cramming or writing before the test or paper due date.  I've never heard these comments from older students.  OWLS may lack the ability or endurance to pull all-nighters.  Or, perhaps more seasoned students have learned that sleep is necessary for them to function well.  Maybe older students have learned to plan better, to budget time and therefore don’t need to miss a night’s sleep.In addition to cramming, in their third year, many students don't attend class or even…

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jennis8

An OWLS’ View: Laptops in the Classroom - What are the Issues?

When the ABA published an article about a 57-year-old Economics Professor going to law school and being appalled at students’ use of computers in the classroom, I decided to look into the issue.[FN1]   Several professors have broached the topic in my classes- often to inform students of the ongoing debate among educators regarding laptop use in the classroom. In my two years at a first- tier law school, only one professor banned laptop use.   Our dean has considered the feasibility of banning Internet use in the classrooms.Like other students who completed their undergraduate degrees without a laptop, when…

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jennis8

Are Older Students Young Lawyers?

My friend was distressed after hearing a prominent judge say, "I like law clerks because I like to work with young people.” That same week my professor explained, "If you're a young lawyer, you take less risk." An email read, (The Justice) “will speak about skills that we should work on developing as young lawyers.” And the public defender told his audience, “Young lawyers are the strength of the PD's office.”Every time I hear young lawyers, I wonder to whom it refers. You must be under 36 (or admitted to practice for five years or less) to be among 150,000…

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jennis8

You Don’t Always Get What You Want

As an older student, people always ask me: "Why did you decide to go to law school?" I explain how my skills and abilities match those required by lawyers; and the profession will allow me to help others and make a difference. That response is not untrue; just incomplete. I started law school to regain my confidence in my own merit as an individual. Contrary to lip service, society does not value homemakers’ contributions. We admire money and tangible accomplishments. After leaving a successful career for the opportunity to live abroad, I focused my energy on kids, husband, and home.…

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