One of the greatest things that we’ve all heard since childhood is somehow the fact that there is a timeline for things- you finish school at 18, college at 22, work till 28 for you to be recognized, marriage at 30, and then continue with your life. However, this often discounts the life experiences of multiple individuals.
Taking myself as one, I am a 22-year-old law student in my first year. As such, age never was an issue with entering the field of law at least. The problem becomes the perception surrounding the same and the guilt one feels for somehow not adhering to the timing.
One thing that we’re told is that the sooner we complete our education, the easier our chances of getting hired would be. However, in a field as diverse and liberal as law, where some companies practice this ageism- most are welcome to hiring older candidates due to multiple reasons:
- Better maturity levels
- Ability to complete the tasks at hand better
- More lived experiences
- A better track record in college
A recently law graduate from GLC had this to say- “I completed my MBBS before choosing law because my parents didn’t want me in this profession. As a 33-year-old graduate, being hired at SAM was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”
The second issue comes about with ostracization- when the people around you are younger than you and you feel a lot of guilt for not completing your education “on time”. However, most if not all are always going to be alright with your age. At the end of the day, it rarely matters to your batchmates as to how many attempts you took to reach a law school as long as you’re now one of them.
While there always would be some who make you feel smaller by comparing your age and implying that you’re somehow late; the ability for you to tackle such situations more maturely is much higher.
Also, seniors still exist and are rather understanding after a few years in the field of the diverse tropes of people who enter law schools and are often approachable for older students to get advice as well.
Overall, it depends highly on the peer group you cultivate but largely, in any law school, more than your age, your accomplishments matter. The student from GLC was hired due to having multiple accomplishments but did not want to be named. Their life experiences, accolades, and maturity are always highly appreciated in a field as challenging as law.
Finally, is the prospect of settling down and further studies.
A lot of scholarships have an age bar to ensure only the finest get in and The Rhodes Scholarship is one of them. The majority of them do not, mainly because the average age of pursuing law worldwide ranges from 24-27 anyway. Therefore, scholarships like Chevening and Fulbright are always open no matter what your age is.
As for settling down, it is a trade-off that is being made by you for something that you find worth it. Rather than being someone who lived a life dictated by societal rules, you were able to follow your dreams and carve unique experiences for yourself that are appreciated by most, if not all companies these days.
As such, age never is and never was a restriction to pursuing law and has only become more and more accessible in recent years as well.
If you’re like me and are in a fix, read this amazing article penned down by Late Shamnad Basheer sir with The Print.
This will not only give you insights into how putting an age cap kills the dreams of a lot of students but will also make you feel proud of the BCI’s decision to remove this ageism.