Monday, October 23, 2006

For law school, how old is too old?

If you ever wondered if you were too old to go to law school, in Australia a 91-year-old man just finished his LL.B. Way to go!

In a society where so much money is spent on post-secondary education (though less, per capita, than before), I wonder if there should be a limit for the "career" or "perennial" students. Should we, as a society, say at some point, "we've spent enough tax dollars on your education" or should we let individuals spend years and years, seemingly aimless, taking university courses?

I'm thinking of 3 people in particular. The first guy was the 12th year of his B.A. He was actively involved in student politics, the student newspaper and many clubs. He was almost a legend on campus - a living memory of failed student by-laws and fizzled scandals. When I graduated, he was still going strong. I have so idea how many years he stayed on campus. In his case, I wonder if a career councillor should have sat down with him and explored his options.

Another student was in her 10th year of studies. She started in Engineering, moved to Computer Science, then meandered to the General Sciences, the Arts and finally Women's Studies. The government "forgave" about half of her student debt load. She made it out. Last I heard, she was happy working for a Not-For-Profit organization.

My last example of a "career" student is a former Philosophy Professor. The last time I read his bio, I didn't recognize half the degrees/diplomas he had earned over the course of his life. I can tell you that he has at least 3 Master's degrees and a PhD. When I knew him, he was close to retirement and working on his second PhD - the consummate perennial learner.

I think law attracts perennial students. Even after we leave good ol' law school, we must continue to do research and stay on top of the game.


At 2:49 PM, Blogger Essien said...

I vote to allow no age limit for law school attendance (I am bias, as a mature applicant, however I am only 32). However, I do support the development of a "Financial Responsbility Formula" that determines what percentage of one's tuition one must cover. It would be a function of income, savings, and age, with a likely direct relationship between age and cost borne by said mature student. There would, of course, be a cap, where-after one's "life-long" contribution to society is credited toward one's tuition subsidy (unless unable to substantiate said contribution with official documentation and living references). If one is deemed to have been essentialy ineffective in thier life, admission would be immediately denied on the grounds of "idiocy" as an unproductive trait in the field of law.

At 12:51 AM, Blogger Umera said...

I am hoping 27, isn't.


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