Army OCS or Law School?

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deadhipsters

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Army OCS or Law School?

Postby deadhipsters » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:41 pm

Should I go to law school or attend Army Officer Candidate School? I have a 165/3.5 and was accepted to a number of decent schools this past cycle, but nothing that I would view as being worth 200k in debt (I plan on a retake). I also have been contemplating applying for the Army OCS. I believe that I would have a background that would make me competitive for an intelligence assignment.

Army Pros:
Interesting and exciting job
Golden on a resume
Could open up a career prospects for CIA, FBI, etc.
Could open up entrance to prestigious schools of IR
Respectable pay
Prestige

Army Cons:
Death or severe injury
4 years of servitude
Not a lot of women in Afghanistan

The problem I am really having trouble coming up with is the “pros” for law school. I would like to do prosecution work, but I am fearful that coming from a school in the top 25+ range is a wild gamble, more so than the army. Any advice?

sparty2L

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby sparty2L » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:44 pm

Army sounds like more of a sure bet. Median kids at Columbia are having trouble finding BigLaw in this economy

deadhipsters

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby deadhipsters » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:46 pm

Sadly, that is what I am thinking. I'd love to be a lawyer (practicing, happy, well employed). But it just sounds like a pipe dream.

OnWisconsin

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby OnWisconsin » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:52 pm

You forgot

A.) If an officer you might qualify for military JAG training while on active duty and be sent to William and Mary (I think that is where they send them) for free while getting paid . However, that might come only if you re-up.

B.) After you're done serving, law school will pretty much be free along with some room and board cash from the yellow ribbon program (this is before scholly money as well).

If you can handle/want to be TOTL for 4 years then you'll pretty much have it made.

deadhipsters

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby deadhipsters » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:01 pm

Hm. That's pretty interesting. I'd take W&M for free. I'd retake the LSAT in oct. and hope that my new score was A) good. B) valid long enough to get me into LS after serving.

03121202698008

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:06 pm

Army OCS...then law school. The Post 9/11 GI Bill and a Yellow Ribbon scholarship is paying for my entire law school. You can also take the time to raise your LSAT some, which combined with your military experience, will get you in a better school. (Get up at a 168/169 and you have a shot at Michigan which gives automatic Yellow Ribbon scholarships.)

deadhipsters

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby deadhipsters » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:59 pm

Blowhard: Thanks for your service and the info are you at U Michigan now?

03121202698008

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:12 pm

deadhipsters wrote:Blowhard: Thanks for your service and the info are you at U Michigan now?


I start this Fall.

WhyMista

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby WhyMista » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:13 pm

I'd go to OCS.

I don't know how it works in the Army but I'm considering going back in the Marine Corps and doing the PLC program that sends you to OCS in either one or two sessions during the summer, then when you graduate you get commissioned as a 2cnd Lt go to law school and usually graduate as a 1st Lt then go to TBS and then the Naval School of Justice which I believe is in VA.

You get TIS/TIG while in law school and a stipend. I don't remember if you actually get paid active duty pay like you do when you do a program like MECEP though.

03121202698008

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:19 pm

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Last edited by 03121202698008 on Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

deadhipsters

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby deadhipsters » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:42 pm

Congrats on Michigan. Yes, I have given serious thought to the AF and Navy, I arrived on the Army because I hear that both the AF and Navy are turning people away in record numbers. And I think my 3.5 and non-technical degree wouldn't cut it. I have a degree in poly sci/ middle eastern studies which I was told by a army recruiter might give me a solid chance in intelligence ( this is probably bullshit, I don't know). I don't mind the idea of combat entirely. But, in a way I feel like I might be selling myself short intellecutally with the army. I don't think the technology/ resources are nearly as cutting edge as that of the Navy or AF. Thoughts?

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General Tso

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby General Tso » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:43 pm

don't go to the army please

deadhipsters

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby deadhipsters » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:55 pm

Yea. The don't go sentiment is completely valid and has been echoed by my family, g/f, and 90 percent of my friends. And it isn't like these are my only two options. Just two that I am seriously contemplating and are most in line with my interests.

WhyMista

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby WhyMista » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:04 pm

You're going to be an officer your life is not going to be hard. As a JAG you will not be seeing any sort of combat or threat of danger. I was a Marine in Iraq with an infantry unit back in fallujah, karmah etc and I don't even know if our SJA came for the deployment and if he did the only danger he faced were the two convoys to the main FOB and back to al asad to fly back out.

Only danger you would face would be much later in your career once you reach major and can become a Bn XO that could be tasked to a combat unit even if your primary MOS is not infantry etc.

People think the military is so bad when its not even as an enlisted grunt. Its what you make of it and frankly with all the cash you're going to get from the Army stfu and just do it. What civilian job is going to pay for your law school, give you a career, then fund your healthcare and subsequent education after you get out? No one. Not to mention you'll be much better suited to living in the stressful environment of a big law firm.

Best advice, tell your OSO you want to try and shadow a local reserve unit JAG

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iShotFirst

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby iShotFirst » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:04 pm

deadhipsters wrote:Congrats on Michigan. Yes, I have given serious thought to the AF and Navy, I arrived on the Army because I hear that both the AF and Navy are turning people away in record numbers. And I think my 3.5 and non-technical degree wouldn't cut it. I have a degree in poly sci/ middle eastern studies which I was told by a army recruiter might give me a solid chance in intelligence ( this is probably bullshit, I don't know). I don't mind the idea of combat entirely. But, in a way I feel like I might be selling myself short intellecutally with the army. I don't think the technology/ resources are nearly as cutting edge as that of the Navy or AF. Thoughts?


AF is the most cutting edge technologically, followed by Navy, you are right there, but I wouldn't consider the Army to be "selling yourself short intellectually". There are plenty of very intelligent people in all the services, and plenty of dumb people in the services, and also in any law or government office. There are definitely reasons to pick one service over the others, but I wouldn't consider this one in my decision.

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:06 pm

deadhipsters wrote:Congrats on Michigan. Yes, I have given serious thought to the AF and Navy, I arrived on the Army because I hear that both the AF and Navy are turning people away in record numbers. And I think my 3.5 and non-technical degree wouldn't cut it. I have a degree in poly sci/ middle eastern studies which I was told by a army recruiter might give me a solid chance in intelligence ( this is probably bullshit, I don't know). I don't mind the idea of combat entirely. But, in a way I feel like I might be selling myself short intellecutally with the army. I don't think the technology/ resources are nearly as cutting edge as that of the Navy or AF. Thoughts?

You never know until you try. The AF very much uses the whole person concept.

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Kswizzie

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby Kswizzie » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:12 pm

In many ways my situation is similar to yours... except that I have been in AFROTC for 3 years already. I have a 3.7 Poli Sci w/ Minors in Russian and History got categorized as Intel. I would think it would be pretty difficult to get intel coming from ots several of my ROTC buddies put it as their first choice to no avail. I think at least at my detachment we had about a 75% selection rate for it but everyone that got it except for one person was above a 3.5

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Notor

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby Notor » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:18 pm

Please, please do not join the army. The fact that you said that you "don't mind the idea of combat entirely" is really out of touch. Just go to law school now and work hard to have a nice life. There is a reason the military offers all those incentives, and it isn't because they are a beneficent entity that cares deeply about you.

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ARMY OCS!!!

Postby Voyager » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:35 pm

ARMY OCS!

As a military officer (even an Army one) you will gain invaluable leadership experience in high stress environments. The skills you learn will aid you for the rest of your life. You will gain confidence. You will be able to look back on your 20s as time well spent.

Every man should be able to look back on a time in his life where he lead bad ass dudes doing bad ass shit.

Military officers are sought out by fortune 500 companies upon exiting the service. GE, for example, has a long standing management recruitment program for military officers.

You will serve your country and learn the real meaning of honor, courage and commitment.

Meanwhile, most of these law students on here will be unemployed at worst or filthy leeches earning 50k a year with 200k of loans at best.

ARMY OCS.

Few on this board could handle it. If You can, DO IT. You will never regret the experience. You can ALWAYS go back to law school afterwards but you will NEVER have the shot at this experience again.

Prosecution? Trust me: you will have a ton more job satisfaction as a platoon commander than you will plea bargaining brutal domestic violence cases from assault to violations.

Of course... a better option would be Marine OCS...
Last edited by Voyager on Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

owt

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby owt » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:41 pm

Notor wrote:Please, please do not join the army. The fact that you said that you "don't mind the idea of combat entirely" is really out of touch. Just go to law school now and work hard to have a nice life. There is a reason the military offers all those incentives, and it isn't because they are a beneficent entity that cares deeply about you.


This. The military is not just another job, it's an entirely different way of life. Don't go to OCS unless you are 100% dead set on becoming an officer.

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby Voyager » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:45 pm

oh one other thing.... about your "intelligence" assignment... you should prepare yourself for ending up where ever they decide to put you. That can be tough.

One of my platoon mates at Marine 2nd Lt's Basic School really really wanted artillery. Badly. He didn't get it. Got supply. He was pissed. I found it hilarious.

Aside from that: Army OCS. So much more important for you to do that now than fucking law school.

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Kswizzie

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby Kswizzie » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:55 pm

Voyager wrote:oh one other thing.... about your "intelligence" assignment... you should prepare yourself for ending up where ever they decide to put you. That can be tough.

One of my platoon mates at Marine 2nd Lt's Basic School really really wanted artillery. Badly. He didn't get it. Got supply. He was pissed. I found it hilarious.

Aside from that: Army OCS. So much more important for you to do that now than fucking law school.


Yeah man for AF it basically goes like this Academy gets first pick of jobs, then ROTC, then prior enlisted people in OTS, then people like you...

Be prepared to deal with it...

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Haribo

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby Haribo » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:56 pm

You say you have a girlfriend? How serious is it? If you want to keep the relationship, are you prepared to be separated for 3-18 months? As others have said, you can get stuck doing terrible work in terrible places if you're unlucky, not even talking about deployments. There are a lot of good reasons to join the military, but it can make your own personal life more complicated.

As for the AF versus Army question, life in the AF is definitely nicer - nicer housing on deployments, shorter deployments, less chance of being shot and killed... but it's also more of an office mentality, which can be good or bad.

Voyager

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby Voyager » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:02 pm

Dude. You want to learn how to shoot? Want to learn how to direct artillery fire and call for close air support? Properly clear a building of hostiles? Perhaps even have a shot at ranger school?

Army.

You want to learn how to improve your golf game while wearing a Grey Hound bus driver uniform?

Air Force.

If you want technical training, go Navy.

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prezidentv8

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Re: Army OCS or Law School?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:14 pm

Notor wrote:Please, please do not join the army. The fact that you said that you "don't mind the idea of combat entirely" is really out of touch. Just go to law school now and work hard to have a nice life. There is a reason the military offers all those incentives, and it isn't because they are a beneficent entity that cares deeply about you.


I view joining the army, or really any military branch this way.

You have to want it bad, have dreams of being in the army, and have researched it to no end. If the thinking is "eh I think it'd be cool and wouldn't mind working out and shooting and being sent to places that normal people don't want to go," do not join the army.

Separately, in my opinion, these options are so divergent that you really should stop and think about what you want to do without rushing into either of them.



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