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The perils of being a ‘young’ young lawyer

At 25, I'm at the young end of the "young lawyers" spectrum. I was one of those kids who went straight from college to law school and, in the back of my mind, I had high hopes law school would be an extension of college. Those dreams were crushed the day I looked at my course syllabi, all of which had reading assignments due on the first day of class (in College Park, this was blasphemy!), but I digress. I started law school at 21, and turned 22 toward the end of first semester of my first year. Although I was young, I'm no Doogie Howser, and I certainly was not the youngest person in my class - in fact, one poor fellow from my first-year section celebrated his 21st birthday on the day we took our first law school exam. I first became painfully aware my age was going to work against me when I was a summer associate. I was on the phone with an opposing pro se party, who stopped me mid-sentence to say, "I'm not sure this is a real phone call. You don't even sound old enough to be a lawyer!" Granted, I wasn't a lawyer at the time, but I was scarred, wondering if my phone voice was too high a la Nina, the Office Space secretary.

2 comments

  1. I love being a young attorney. You’ll get the question “how old are you?” all the time. For me, having worked at the Public Defender’s Office before I entered private practice, I always respond, “I’m 26, and I’ve tried nearly 3,000 cases.” That usually eliminates any doubts or reservatiosn from my clients. Enjoy being 25 and welcome to Gen J.D.

  2. How insightful.

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