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Attorney Wayne
Attorney Wayne, Attorney
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Experience:  Practicing law since 2000.
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I presently work for the civil service (government). While

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I presently work for the civil service (government). While I'm retired from the Navy (ten years ago), I do NOT like the kind of work that I do -- military supply. I'd much rather work as a lawyer and give solid advice.

I worked at Military One-Source (as a temp tax consultant) and several counselors approached me and told me (separately) that I should strongly consider becoming a lawyer. While my military background prepared me for leadership, hardcore studying, and "getting results..." I never imagined myself being a lawyer.

The more I think about it, the more I LIKE the idea. I could LIVE in a library, STUDY FOR DAYS ON END, and TEACH THE LAW because I eventually would LIKE TO BECOME A LAW PROFESSOR.

I'm 50 years old, and graduating from law school would put me closer to retirement, although I don't plan on retiring anytime soon.

What would you suggest? That I avoid the law, or pursue my dream of LEAVING the government and become a lawyer?
Hello. Thanks for contacting us.

Wow, it sounds like you are doing some real stock-taking at the new year approaches!

A few thoughts from a 53-year-old late in life lawyer (second career for me!)...

(1) The bad economy has made it really hard to find a job. There are many newly minted JDs working as barristas and restaurant host/hostesses. Of course, economic downturns are very cyclical, and in four of five years, the situation may be very different.

Given your status as a veteran and a civil servant, you may have a leg up in getting federal employment, at least. Getting some in-government experience can be helpful to gaining a foothold in legal academe. Many government lawyers teach as adjunct profs at law schools in their area. Policy is a big piece of legal academe, and who gets that process better than someone inside the policy-making bureaucratic machine!

Those adjunct jobs can lead to contacts that could eventually land a real prof job (together with a track record of publications in respected law journals and/or books).

As in any field, despite laws against it, the culture often shuns over-50s without experience (and in this economy, even with relevant experience!) But it sounds as if you have the right attitude -- you would do it because it speaks to you. And that makes the struggle easier, for sure! There are far too many K-JD lawyers who never did anything else and happened to stumble into law because they couldn't think of anything else to do with their liberal arts undergrad degrees. Sad but true -- so if someone realizes that the road will be hard, but loves the subject matter, then it is a whole lot easier!

I wish you all the best on your new pursuit, and all sweetness in the new year!
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