FBI Special Agent

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Knock
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FBI Special Agent

Postby Knock » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:50 pm

http://www.fbijobs.gov/111.asp
http://www.fbijobs.gov/1111.asp

Law
To qualify under the Law Entry Program, candidates must have a JD degree from an accredited law school.


Has anyone looked into this? anyone want to share their thoughts/opinions?

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:00 am

curious as well...this seems really interesting.

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Herb Watchfell
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby Herb Watchfell » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:02 am

Sounds cool, but what exactly do Special Agents do?

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cardnal124
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby cardnal124 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:05 am

I heard an FBI special agent talk about getting in from an accounting undergrad (after experience/CPA). Really not a bad gig at all, but beware that these positions would be competitive (typically minimum 9 month hiring process), start at around 61-69k, and you would have to be willing to move wherever. Also, you would still have to pass all physical exams, so you would want to make sure you are working out in between classes.

Renzo
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby Renzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:05 am

One of my good friends is with the FBI (but not a lawyer), and it is every bit as cool as you would imagine. He says that no matter what track you get hired through, everyone ends up going to a field office and doing the same work.

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tintin
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby tintin » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:05 am

Herb Watchfell wrote:Sounds cool, but what exactly do Special Agents do?


according to tv, all kinds of cool shit

CyLaw
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby CyLaw » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:06 am

Herb Watchfell wrote:Sounds cool, but what exactly do Special Agents do?


Ever seen a tv show, book, or movie that had some one from the FBI in it? That, but the people are less good looking and there is a crap load of paperwork.

Renzo
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby Renzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:08 am

CyLaw wrote:
Herb Watchfell wrote:Sounds cool, but what exactly do Special Agents do?


Ever seen a tv show, book, or movie that had some one from the FBI in it? That, but the people are less good looking and there is a crap load of paperwork.

Yeah. that's pretty much how my buddy describes it. Oh, cooler cars though--they're all seized from drug dealers.

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NewtonCampusKid
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby NewtonCampusKid » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:14 am

A special agent waits patiently to fight......Mr. Anderson.

ViIIager
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby ViIIager » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:43 am

Well, I can speak to this somewhat intelligently as I went through the Special Agent recruitment process for a LEO agency before skipping out to attend law school. I qualifed under their information technology requirements rather than law, but the process was identical and the post-acceptance training and initial daily tasks were expected to be identical according to the folks in my panel interview.

First recommendation: hit up a LEO forum; I'm partial to 911jobforums.com. They'll have threads that talk alllll about what Special Agents do. Beyond FBI, there are a ton of "Series 1811" jobs across the Fed gov't, including DEA, USSS, FBI, ATF, etc. that all do very similar work. They have different flavors, e.g. USSS agents split their time between investigation and standing in a hallway for 10 hours, while DEA gets the fun door-kicking work.

That said, if you're on TLS, FBI is probably a better spot for you. Special Agents start at GS-10 in FBI versus 7/9 in DEA, so the pay is a bit better starting out. The LEO forums can tell you about advancement potential (most are a grade per year until -13). Keep in mind that as an 1811, you have to work 50 hours a week but you get the LEO pay scale, an extra 25% bump in salary, and a bump from locality pay for almost everywhere in the US. Some agencies have a reputation for paying overtime if you're into that.

Each agency has its own particular culture; FBI is known for having some really arrogant people, DEA for sending its agents into some pretty dangerous locales, etc. There are plenty of flavors to choose from, and all of the LEOs are looking at a big deficit of agents as the boomers retire. My preference was for DEA, as the agents there were incredibly helpful and willing to take time to hang out to answer questions, whereas a couple of the other agencies gave off some rather negative vibes.

As a sidenote, from everything I'm seeing about law school (I'm admittedly a 0L), health seems to be the first to go, which can have a substantial impact on Special Agent jobs. Each 1811 slot has strict physical requirements for entry, though it varies by agency (for example, DEA has the most stringent standards for physical fitness testing). Also, I seem to remember that some agencies require their agents to have perfect eyesight (e.g. USSS). All of that info is available online.

The length of time from my initial application to the final step was 13 months, but it depends heavily on your field office, gov't fiscal year, etc. That 13 months did not include the actual academy training, which depends on your agency. For some that means Quantico, Virginia for six months, while others go to Glynco, Georgia for a spell.

hth!

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:23 am

Thanks man, ton of info in there. Dunno if you know the answer to this, but after all the training is complete (at Quantico or wherever they end up sending you), are you able to choose your field office, or at least give a short list of where you'd prefer to go?

nol607
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby nol607 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:27 am

If anyone is really interested, each field office recruits 1-2 Staff Operations Specialists straight from undergrad. The idea is that you work as a SOS for 2-3 years and then can become a special agent. It is something of an intelligence analysis job, but the major perk is that you get to do some of the Special Agent training at Quantico. Only thing to keep in mind is that, as ViLLager pointed out, the vetting process takes about a year.

ViIIager
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby ViIIager » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:36 am

chicagolaw2013 wrote:Thanks man, ton of info in there. Dunno if you know the answer to this, but after all the training is complete (at Quantico or wherever they end up sending you), are you able to choose your field office, or at least give a short list of where you'd prefer to go?


Everyone submits a ranked list of preferred cities and the agency matches based on need. It's going to vary by agency, but from what I remember, only the top one or two people from each academy class get to pick their location and have reliable odds of getting it. Expect that you'll have to rotate from big city (NYC, DC, etc.) to small city (middle of nowhere in a flyover state) throughout your career, so getting placed in a small field office to cut your teeth and then moving to a major field office when you've got the basics down might not be a horrible idea. That said, I've heard a lot of debate about whether its easier to get placed in major field offices because of their size.

Your agency, when combined with your locale, will also strongly influence what type of work you're doing--if you're USSS in NYC, you're almost guaranteed to be doing protection for the UN each year, whereas USSS in Idaho may be heavily involved in anti-counterfeit operations.

nol607
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby nol607 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:40 am

chicagolaw2013 wrote:Thanks man, ton of info in there. Dunno if you know the answer to this, but after all the training is complete (at Quantico or wherever they end up sending you), are you able to choose your field office, or at least give a short list of where you'd prefer to go?


You can preference where you want to be- and if you choose a field office in say New Orleans or Mobile, there is probably a good chance that it will be honored. I interviewed and mentioned a concern that I didn't want to leave my family and was told that I could spend a career at that given office if I wanted to. You're less likely to have your request granted if you request Boston, NYC or DC. Its entirely determined by the need of the agency. If you do end up being relocated to a high COL area they will give you a stipend for your troubles.

nol607
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby nol607 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:42 am

Sorry, didn't see your response.

ViIIager
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby ViIIager » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:11 pm

nol607 wrote:Sorry, didn't see your response.


No worries--it wasn't posted yet. Don't hesitate to share your experiences! I'm sure there are a few more folks than just us that have looked at FBI/1811s as an opportunity. Cool work, comfortable lifestyle, and good stories. I'd definitely encourage people to look into each agency and learn more about what each has to offer; I may go back and run through the process again once I graduate from LS.

One other thing to note: while FBI/USSS/DEA/ATF/other LEOs get most of the attention, every Federal agency has an Office of the Inspector General which employs 1811s. All of the 1811s I've met started in one of the aforementioned LEOs, got tired of moving, and switched over. I think it'd be easy to stick through 20-25 years as an 1811 while still seeing something new each year.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:20 pm

What are we talking pay-wise for any of these? I know you said GS-10 or something to that effect but I have no idea what that means hahahaha.

nol607
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby nol607 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:24 pm

This is regarding a position as a Staff Operations Specialist, not Special Agent
It was definitely the most exciting interview I've ever had- it was conducted by a panel of special agents and there was a really intense security protocol (escorted to the bathroom, couldn't carry my briefcase, had to park down the street and got searched at the gate etc. etc.). The agents were all really down to earth people, and were excited about this newly created position- SOS is a new thing, been around for a year or so I think. The one thing I have to caution anyone who is interested is that the SOS is intended to become a Special Agent and remain loyal to the FBI for a while. I was dropped after my interview because I was honest about wanting to do law school within the next ~3 years. They didn't like that. Definitely worth checking out if you're interested in becoming a special agent, but be advised that they don't want someone who will work for a year and then apply to be a special agent after law school.

Edit: Just want to add that this is a "real" FBI job. It's not clerical, there is intelligence analysis and you have an abbreviated special agent training period in VA. That's really all that they disclose, but you can probably dig up a little more if you search hard enough.

nol607
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby nol607 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:27 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:What are we talking pay-wise for any of these? I know you said GS-10 or something to that effect but I have no idea what that means hahahaha.


For the SOS it was I think 40-50K/year with really solid benefits- it all depends on location and some other factors that play into the govt pay scale.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:29 pm

nol607 wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:What are we talking pay-wise for any of these? I know you said GS-10 or something to that effect but I have no idea what that means hahahaha.


For the SOS it was I think 40-50K/year with really solid benefits- it all depends on location and some other factors that play into the govt pay scale.


Any idea about the after-law-school going rate?

nol607
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby nol607 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:30 pm

Sorry, couldn't tell you. ViLLager seems way more informed than me re: special agents

Renzo
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby Renzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:57 pm

ViIIager wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:Thanks man, ton of info in there. Dunno if you know the answer to this, but after all the training is complete (at Quantico or wherever they end up sending you), are you able to choose your field office, or at least give a short list of where you'd prefer to go?


Everyone submits a ranked list of preferred cities and the agency matches based on need. It's going to vary by agency, but from what I remember, only the top one or two people from each academy class get to pick their location and have reliable odds of getting it. Expect that you'll have to rotate from big city (NYC, DC, etc.) to small city (middle of nowhere in a flyover state) throughout your career, so getting placed in a small field office to cut your teeth and then moving to a major field office when you've got the basics down might not be a horrible idea. That said, I've heard a lot of debate about whether its easier to get placed in major field offices because of their size.

Your agency, when combined with your locale, will also strongly influence what type of work you're doing--if you're USSS in NYC, you're almost guaranteed to be doing protection for the UN each year, whereas USSS in Idaho may be heavily involved in anti-counterfeit operations.


My FBI agent friend said that there is one caveat to this: your first assignment locale will not be wherever you are from. E.G., if you are from Salt Lake City, expect to go anywhere but there straight out of the academy.

ughOSU
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby ughOSU » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:59 pm

Some potentially disqualifying information (for some people, not me):

1. Can't have smoked marijuana within the last 3 years.
2. Can't have done any other illegal drug within the last 10 years.
3. Must pass lie detector test.

Renzo
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby Renzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:01 pm

ughOSU wrote:Some potentially disqualifying information (for some people, not me):

1. Can't have smoked marijuana within the last 3 years.
2. Can't have done any other illegal drug within the last 10 years.
3. Must pass lie detector test.

All true, but the polygraph is the least of your worries if you are trying to hide something in your background. Keep in mind its the freaking FBI that would be looking into your past, not some corporate HR assistant.

nol607
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Re: FBI Special Agent

Postby nol607 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:05 pm

e.g. go to your hometown and interview your mailman




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