Friday, June 16, 2006

... and then I turned 25

The countdown is complete and the day has arrived. Today I am 25 years old, a quarter century, and yet still so very young. For the past three years I've been running around UW Law as one of a handful of students who came straight from their undergraduate education. On top of that, I took only four years to complete my undergrad, which is anything but the norm these days. Which makes me one of the youngest graduates in my class.

Carry that little factoid three months into the future and you'll discover I'm on the path to being one of the youngest lawyers in the country. How's that for strange. The average age at the UW was 28 when we started in 2003, assuming a linear space-time continuum, the average age is now closer to 30. I have no idea what the average nationally is for law graduates, but given how many people take at least a year off between undergraduate and law school, not to mention all the folks going into law after 20 years in a different career, it's got to be higher than 25.

What I find humorous here is that many of my friends and colleagues have said I'm "24 going on 40," in reference to my personality of professionalism (okay, that's probably an overly optimistic way of stating things). Whether positive or negative, my peer group tends to think of me as older than I really am.

Let me say this to anyone who may be reading... I do not feel older than I am, I feel way young. My peers in law school have so much on me in terms of experience, wisdom, and skills that I worry every day about my employability. It's not that I'm not a smart guy, it's the simple fact that I've done so few things in my life compared to others.

Not to say I would lead my life differently. I feel I've been incredibly lucky with my student government jobs, work opportunities, and political participation. I think I've done well for myself at the ripe age of 25. But I worry that an employer, when choosing between a 25 year old and a 30 year old, is going to give me enough credit to realistically bridge the five year gap.

1 comment:

ethan said...

well.... to really know if you're one of the youngest lawyers in the country, you'd have to know the median age, not the mean. ;-)