Anonymous User wrote:
From someone who made it through the whole process, turned down the job for a woman and went to law school instead, and has now been left by said woman and regrets the whole law school thing (and will probably retake the FS exam...), here are a few thoughts on making the most of your remaining law school time to maximize your odds in the crapshoot that is the Foreign Service exam:
1) focus on clinical work. The oral exam is, at least in part, about talking about *specific* experiences you have had that demonstrate your commitment to the type of work that the FS does (and your chosen cone in particular), and your attributes on those N dimensions (5? 13? I forget, it's been a while). Clinics are the best way to get those experiences while still in school. Try to tailor it to your cone-of-choice if possible, but anything will do, honest. Ethical quandaries that you have successfully navigated are gold, as far as the FS exam goes. Publications and Law Review will only help on the margins.
2) if you're serious about it, look up the yahoo groups for the FS exam. The pass rate on the oral exam is not very high (on my test day it seemed like maybe 1/4?), but 3/4 of my study group got through it. You'll hear how other people are thinking, and you'll get their feedback on how to sharpen your responses. Very valuable.
3) don't just focus on international law. More mundane areas of law, like employment law, for example, are good to know because issues related to the administrative side of things are tested on the written exam. And there's a history of employment discrimination there, and it's always good to know what you're getting into.
4) be patient. The exam is opaque and the grading of it feels like it can be somewhat arbitrary. If you pass the first time, great! If you don't, don't get discouraged. Figure out what you did wrong, follow step #2 if you didn't the first time, and sign up for another try.
thanks for the insight. I really wanted to join the peace corps and go from there to the foreign service. Did neither and went to law school for a girl, haha. Should I make learning a new language pretty much my hobby for the next two years of law school? I have a good bit of international experience (did my entire undergrad abroad).
What about doing peace corps post law school and then doing FS?
Also since you already went through the process how are they about past drug use. I haven't done anything illegal in about 3 years but would also rather not have to lie about my past on an application.
Thanks again for all the insight