Foreign Service Officer as a soft

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FSOlaw
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Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby FSOlaw » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Curious how much being an FSO helps as a soft? 3.58 gpa and haven't taken the LSAT yet. Cold score without studying is 165 so think I could do well. Primarily interested in HYS. Will being an FSO with multiple overseas posts make up for the gpa?

sparkytrainer
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:04 pm

No. It wont hurt, but wont overcome your gpa. Focus on lsat.

grixxlybear99
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby grixxlybear99 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:37 pm

I would highly recommend you remain a FSO or try to pursue 1811 series rather than become a dorky lawyer

Wipfelder
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby Wipfelder » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:13 pm

grixxlybear99 wrote:I would highly recommend you remain a FSO or try to pursue 1811 series rather than become a dorky lawyer


Criminal investigation dudes are also pretty dorky TBH.

But like, FSO in what organization? DoS, DoD?

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abujabal
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby abujabal » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

Wipfelder wrote:
grixxlybear99 wrote:I would highly recommend you remain a FSO or try to pursue 1811 series rather than become a dorky lawyer


Criminal investigation dudes are also pretty dorky TBH.

But like, FSO in what organization? DoS, DoD?


Pretty definitionally DoS.

@OP - I'm not well-versed in this beyond a few anecdotal data points, but I know that it can't hurt. I know that it was mentioned by someone I know who's at a top school who transitioned after 5 years in State as a part of their application that seemed to help overcome their own GPA (which was lower than yours), but I doubt there are enough FSOs transitioning to a JD to make a proper analysis.

Wipfelder
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby Wipfelder » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:46 pm

abujabal wrote:
Wipfelder wrote:
grixxlybear99 wrote:I would highly recommend you remain a FSO or try to pursue 1811 series rather than become a dorky lawyer


Criminal investigation dudes are also pretty dorky TBH.

But like, FSO in what organization? DoS, DoD?


Pretty definitionally DoS.

@OP - I'm not well-versed in this beyond a few anecdotal data points, but I know that it can't hurt. I know that it was mentioned by someone I know who's at a top school who transitioned after 5 years in State as a part of their application that seemed to help overcome their own GPA (which was lower than yours), but I doubt there are enough FSOs transitioning to a JD to make a proper analysis.


DoD has "Foreign Service Officers" too. There are also other organizations that have them, and call them FSOs.

But yea, know one guy with DoS experience at a T14. It seemed to be a nice soft that helped him as a "reverse splitter" ( had like, 3.9/165).

FSOlaw
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby FSOlaw » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:58 pm

Yes this is referring to State. No offense to the other depts, but it's not the same. Surprised about the semi lukewarm responses. While I haven't cured cancer or won a nobel prize I would have thought this was closer to the unicorn side of softs than not, given the low number of FSOs applying to law school. Thanks for the insight!

sparkytrainer
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby sparkytrainer » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:26 pm

FSOlaw wrote:Yes this is referring to State. No offense to the other depts, but it's not the same. Surprised about the semi lukewarm responses. While I haven't cured cancer or won a nobel prize I would have thought this was closer to the unicorn side of softs than not, given the low number of FSOs applying to law school. Thanks for the insight!


yeah not anywhere near the unicorn side of softs. This is like a meh to good soft. Its a cool gig and all, but not all that helpful.

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Gordon_Cole
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby Gordon_Cole » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:33 pm

FSOlaw wrote:Curious how much being an FSO helps as a soft? 3.58 gpa and haven't taken the LSAT yet. Cold score without studying is 165 so think I could do well. Primarily interested in HYS. Will being an FSO with multiple overseas posts make up for the gpa?


Did you do anything particularly meaningful as a FSO? I know plenty of desk jockeys working in a cubicle at U.S. embassies, but if you can tie that into a compelling narrative / statement, I think that it could help accomplish the goals that you mentioned. Also, get as high LSAT as possible, tho GRE is probably coming to most schools next year.

Wipfelder
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby Wipfelder » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:50 pm

FSOlaw wrote:Yes this is referring to State. No offense to the other depts, but it's not the same. Surprised about the semi lukewarm responses. While I haven't cured cancer or won a nobel prize I would have thought this was closer to the unicorn side of softs than not, given the low number of FSOs applying to law school. Thanks for the insight!


It is definitely a great soft, and rare, but basically nothing gets past that LSAT/GPA thing.

The unicorn-level softs I've seen are Pro Athlete/Olympic Medalist/CEO-founder of successful multimillion dollar startup/Decorated veteran (silver star/purple heart level)/ Special Forces (or SEAL)/ parent is a well know public figure.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:23 pm

It meets the "Yale would mention it when talking about their incoming class test" but I don't think you really can quantify it beyond that. Definitely not a "meh" soft. Tough to say more than that, but I'd expect it to push you to the front of the pile of people with similar numbers. I would not expect it to move you to a different pile, if that makes sense.

Which is to say I think you have an excellent chance of getting in anywhere if you get a 173 plus.

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abogadesq
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby abogadesq » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:54 pm

FSOlaw wrote:Curious how much being an FSO helps as a soft? 3.58 gpa and haven't taken the LSAT yet. Cold score without studying is 165 so think I could do well. Primarily interested in HYS. Will being an FSO with multiple overseas posts make up for the gpa?


I don't know about HYS, but IMO it's pretty impressive. I think it would help you win out over an applicant with the same GPA/LSAT seeing as the average applicant's background is pretty bland in comparison.

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Gordon_Cole
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby Gordon_Cole » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:16 pm

abogadesq wrote:
FSOlaw wrote:Curious how much being an FSO helps as a soft? 3.58 gpa and haven't taken the LSAT yet. Cold score without studying is 165 so think I could do well. Primarily interested in HYS. Will being an FSO with multiple overseas posts make up for the gpa?


I don't know about HYS, but IMO it's pretty impressive. I think it would help you win out over an applicant with the same GPA/LSAT seeing as the average applicant's background is pretty bland in comparison.


I think it depends on how you relate it to your narrative and how actually impactful your FSO experience was. The low GPA is problematic for HYS in particular among T6. You have decent chances at 173+ at H, but Yale and Stanford look pretty unlikely in general, at least according to myLSN. I would focus on how your FSO experience relates to your desire to go to law school, what you bring to the table as a result, etc in addition to an impressive LSAT.
Last edited by Gordon_Cole on Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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abogadesq
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby abogadesq » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:25 pm

Gordon_Cole wrote:
abogadesq wrote:
FSOlaw wrote:Curious how much being an FSO helps as a soft? 3.58 gpa and haven't taken the LSAT yet. Cold score without studying is 165 so think I could do well. Primarily interested in HYS. Will being an FSO with multiple overseas posts make up for the gpa?


I don't know about HYS, but IMO it's pretty impressive. I think it would help you win out over an applicant with the same GPA/LSAT seeing as the average applicant's background is pretty bland in comparison.


I think it depends on how you relate it to your narrative. The low GPA is problematic for HYS in particular among T6. You have decent chances at 173+ at H, but Yale and Stanford look pretty unlikely in general, at least according to myLSN. I would focus on how your FSO experience relates to your desire to go to law school, what you bring to the table as a result, etc in addition to an impressive LSAT.


Oh, definitely. I'd just assume that if you're an FSO, you're going to have that experience reflected in your narratives. For example, all FSOs begin as consular officers, who apply federal law and and regulations in a daily basis for at least two years or so. If you're tracked as a consular officer, then you probably have just as much "legal experience" as an immigration attorney. It's relevant and valuable experience, but of course, you have to know how to sell it.

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Gordon_Cole
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby Gordon_Cole » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:29 pm

abogadesq wrote:
Gordon_Cole wrote:
abogadesq wrote:
FSOlaw wrote:Curious how much being an FSO helps as a soft? 3.58 gpa and haven't taken the LSAT yet. Cold score without studying is 165 so think I could do well. Primarily interested in HYS. Will being an FSO with multiple overseas posts make up for the gpa?


I don't know about HYS, but IMO it's pretty impressive. I think it would help you win out over an applicant with the same GPA/LSAT seeing as the average applicant's background is pretty bland in comparison.


I think it depends on how you relate it to your narrative. The low GPA is problematic for HYS in particular among T6. You have decent chances at 173+ at H, but Yale and Stanford look pretty unlikely in general, at least according to myLSN. I would focus on how your FSO experience relates to your desire to go to law school, what you bring to the table as a result, etc in addition to an impressive LSAT.


Oh, definitely. I'd just assume that if you're an FSO, you're going to have that experience reflected in your narratives. For example, all FSOs begin as consular officers, who apply federal law and and regulations in a daily basis for at least two years or so. If you're tracked as a consular officer, then you probably have just as much "legal experience" as an immigration attorney. It's relevant and valuable experience, but of course, you have to know how to sell it.


I have no idea how the tracks work, but Wikipedia seems to suggest otherwise: FSO being an umbrella label: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Service_Officer. I also don't mean to undermine OP's experience. It's really cool and doubtless was a great experience, though to put him over the top it would be good to have some meaningful accomplishments while working as an FSO on the resume. Having worked with some FSOs overseas, it's not as necessarilly glamorous or high-level as one would imagine.

Just saw the multiple postings part in OP - that will definitely separate you from the pack.

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abogadesq
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Re: Foreign Service Officer as a soft

Postby abogadesq » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:39 pm

Gordon_Cole wrote:
abogadesq wrote:
Gordon_Cole wrote:
abogadesq wrote:
FSOlaw wrote:Curious how much being an FSO helps as a soft? 3.58 gpa and haven't taken the LSAT yet. Cold score without studying is 165 so think I could do well. Primarily interested in HYS. Will being an FSO with multiple overseas posts make up for the gpa?


I don't know about HYS, but IMO it's pretty impressive. I think it would help you win out over an applicant with the same GPA/LSAT seeing as the average applicant's background is pretty bland in comparison.


I think it depends on how you relate it to your narrative. The low GPA is problematic for HYS in particular among T6. You have decent chances at 173+ at H, but Yale and Stanford look pretty unlikely in general, at least according to myLSN. I would focus on how your FSO experience relates to your desire to go to law school, what you bring to the table as a result, etc in addition to an impressive LSAT.


Oh, definitely. I'd just assume that if you're an FSO, you're going to have that experience reflected in your narratives. For example, all FSOs begin as consular officers, who apply federal law and and regulations in a daily basis for at least two years or so. If you're tracked as a consular officer, then you probably have just as much "legal experience" as an immigration attorney. It's relevant and valuable experience, but of course, you have to know how to sell it.


I have no idea how the tracks work, but Wikipedia seems to suggest otherwise: FSO being an umbrella label: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Service_Officer. I also don't mean to undermine OP's experience. It's really cool and doubtless was a great experience, though to put him over the top it would be good to have some meaningful accomplishments while working as an FSO on the resume. Having worked with some FSOs overseas, it's not as necessarilly glamorous or high-level as one would imagine.

Just saw the multiple postings part in OP - that will definitely separate you from the pack.


Sorry to nit-pick, but he said he was an FSO with State, which is by far the federal agency that has the most so called "foreign service officers." Generally, all FSO's w/ State serve 1 to 2, if not more, tours as a consular officer once appointed. These tours can last years. Tenured-consular officers will most likely continue in that role until they retire or resign. I'm also willing to bet economic-track FSO's have experience in business law as - it is my understanding - they aid Americans do business in foreign countries. But yeah I agree, he definitely would need to offer compelling details about his experience.

And if OP is a tenured consular officer, I'm sure he has some pretty cool stories (so I've heard about the track).




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