The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

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law2015admit
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The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby law2015admit » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:37 pm

The primary reason that I decided to pursue a law degree was to be a highly competitive candidate with the FBI, CIA, or many other government agencies, etc. I have always had the thought that if I couldn't get one of those jobs immediately then I could always practice law since I would have a law degree. This idea seems less appealing when I start seeing prices of schools and bad outlooks on job prospects for graduating JD students. The federal agency hiring process is very competitive (however, a law degree is not required but is perferred and desired) so would you spend the money to get a law degree to hopefully be hired quickly by a government agency? I'm thinking I may be better off just trying to work as a police officer and gain the professional experience and then apply, a lot cheaper and would get paid doing it but it may just take a little while longer

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:43 pm

No, I would join the military. Far cheaper and better experience to get BigIntelligence.

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bk1
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:45 pm

Moved to appropriate forum.

seatown12
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby seatown12 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:45 pm

Military > Cop >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Law School

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby Gecko of Doom » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:48 pm

law2015admit wrote:The primary reason that I decided to pursue a law degree was to be a highly competitive candidate with the FBI, CIA, or many other government agencies, etc. I have always had the thought that if I couldn't get one of those jobs immediately then I could always practice law since I would have a law degree. This idea seems less appealing when I start seeing prices of schools and bad outlooks on job prospects for graduating JD students. The federal agency hiring process is very competitive (however, a law degree is not required but is perferred and desired) so would you spend the money to get a law degree to hopefully be hired quickly by a government agency? I'm thinking I may be better off just trying to work as a police officer and gain the professional experience and then apply, a lot cheaper and would get paid doing it but it may just take a little while longer

I don't know about the CIA or other government agencies, but for the FBI this is correct. And you can't go straight from law school to special agent, either. It takes several years (I want to say three, but I can't remember for sure) of post-law school professional experience. And from what I've researched, I don't think people with law degrees are any more sought-after than people with law enforcement experience.

law2015admit
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby law2015admit » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:12 am

Gecko of Doom wrote:
law2015admit wrote:The primary reason that I decided to pursue a law degree was to be a highly competitive candidate with the FBI, CIA, or many other government agencies, etc. I have always had the thought that if I couldn't get one of those jobs immediately then I could always practice law since I would have a law degree. This idea seems less appealing when I start seeing prices of schools and bad outlooks on job prospects for graduating JD students. The federal agency hiring process is very competitive (however, a law degree is not required but is perferred and desired) so would you spend the money to get a law degree to hopefully be hired quickly by a government agency? I'm thinking I may be better off just trying to work as a police officer and gain the professional experience and then apply, a lot cheaper and would get paid doing it but it may just take a little while longer

I don't know about the CIA or other government agencies, but for the FBI this is correct. And you can't go straight from law school to special agent, either. It takes several years (I want to say three, but I can't remember for sure) of post-law school professional experience. And from what I've researched, I don't think people with law degrees are any more sought-after than people with law enforcement experience.



Yes thats why I am second guessing going to a few law schools that Ive been accepted to since they arent top 20. Military doesnt seem too appealing so I may go with law enforcement and if I change my mind back to law school then I can retake the LSAT and try to score higher and get into a better school or find more money at another school. Thanks for the input!

curiousnole
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby curiousnole » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:30 am

My parents have a few fbi agents as friends (they just fell into that group of friends I guess) and I've talked to them about the best ways to become an agent for the fbi/cia and unfortunately your chances moving up from minor law enforcement (like being a police officer) to working for the fbi or cia are virtually zero. They offered the exact opposite advice and I think 2 out of the 3 of them I know have their JD (the other was in the special forces for years). Also, low level military does you almost no good as well, the way they have either flat out said it or insinuated it to me in the past is as if they view regular cops or lower level military personnel as idiots who don't have the basic intelligence and skills required. I'd say from talking to them it is more like this JD/advanced military experience (special forces/ranger etc.)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>military (enlisted with low rank)>lower level law enforcement working for police department. I am a 0L, but I do know about this specific area.



Hooray! I finally get to contribute.

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Tom Joad
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby Tom Joad » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:40 am

seatown12 wrote:Military > Cop >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Law School

Also: Foreign Language in Demand>>>>>Accounting>>>>>Engineering>>>>>>Law School

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TTTLS
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby TTTLS » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:44 am

I'm thinking a JD/PhD in criminal psychology would do the trick.

law2015admit
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby law2015admit » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:35 am

curiousnole wrote:My parents have a few fbi agents as friends (they just fell into that group of friends I guess) and I've talked to them about the best ways to become an agent for the fbi/cia and unfortunately your chances moving up from minor law enforcement (like being a police officer) to working for the fbi or cia are virtually zero. They offered the exact opposite advice and I think 2 out of the 3 of them I know have their JD (the other was in the special forces for years). Also, low level military does you almost no good as well, the way they have either flat out said it or insinuated it to me in the past is as if they view regular cops or lower level military personnel as idiots who don't have the basic intelligence and skills required. I'd say from talking to them it is more like this JD/advanced military experience (special forces/ranger etc.)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>military (enlisted with low rank)>lower level law enforcement working for police department. I am a 0L, but I do know about this specific area.



Hooray! I finally get to contribute.



Thank you for the contribution! That's really helpful knowledge. In regards to your post it seems like maybe getting my JD is a good doorway to a FBI kind of job. In regards to the other post about foreign language im able to speak Spanish and for the last three years I have been taking Arabic. I don't know if I'm fluent enough to pass the test at the required level just yet but I'm going to work on it

seatown12
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby seatown12 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:14 pm

The problem is, the jobs you want are extremely competitive, and you are nowhere near guaranteed to get one no matter what you do. If you get a JD and don't get one of these jobs, you will have a ton of debt and very uncertain job prospects. If you become a police officer or join the military and don't end up ever getting a CIA or FBI job, you will still have a solid career to fall back on.

law2015admit
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby law2015admit » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:19 pm

seatown12 wrote:The problem is, the jobs you want are extremely competitive, and you are nowhere near guaranteed to get one no matter what you do. If you get a JD and don't get one of these jobs, you will have a ton of debt and very uncertain job prospects. If you become a police officer or join the military and don't end up ever getting a CIA or FBI job, you will still have a solid career to fall back on.


That's a very good and valid point. Luckily I had schools offer me enough money that I wont end up with very much debt. Its extremely competitive which is why a JD will help me, obviously a job is not guaranteed but the doors that having a JD will open and the advantage it will give me over bachelors/associate degrees etc. It could help me get hired quicker as a police officer if I decide to go that direction. There are many government jobs that I could work my way up with plus with a law degree obviosuly practicing is always an option. The attractive thing about a government job is the secuirty, benefits, and retirement packages. You're input is appreciated and a very good point

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:30 pm

law2015admit wrote:
seatown12 wrote:The problem is, the jobs you want are extremely competitive, and you are nowhere near guaranteed to get one no matter what you do. If you get a JD and don't get one of these jobs, you will have a ton of debt and very uncertain job prospects. If you become a police officer or join the military and don't end up ever getting a CIA or FBI job, you will still have a solid career to fall back on.


That's a very good and valid point. Luckily I had schools offer me enough money that I wont end up with very much debt. Its extremely competitive which is why a JD will help me, obviously a job is not guaranteed but the doors that having a JD will open and the advantage it will give me over bachelors/associate degrees etc. It could help me get hired quicker as a police officer if I decide to go that direction. There are many government jobs that I could work my way up with plus with a law degree obviosuly practicing is always an option. The attractive thing about a government job is the secuirty, benefits, and retirement packages. You're input is appreciated and a very good point


Keep in mind that a JD is actually a negative in applying to most non-legal jobs. You are seen as a flight risk. And not sure how a JD would make it quicker to become a police officer.

Also, keep in mind that getting a government legal job after law school is not very likely either. What jobs did you have in mind?

law2015admit
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby law2015admit » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:34 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
law2015admit wrote:
seatown12 wrote:The problem is, the jobs you want are extremely competitive, and you are nowhere near guaranteed to get one no matter what you do. If you get a JD and don't get one of these jobs, you will have a ton of debt and very uncertain job prospects. If you become a police officer or join the military and don't end up ever getting a CIA or FBI job, you will still have a solid career to fall back on.


That's a very good and valid point. Luckily I had schools offer me enough money that I wont end up with very much debt. Its extremely competitive which is why a JD will help me, obviously a job is not guaranteed but the doors that having a JD will open and the advantage it will give me over bachelors/associate degrees etc. It could help me get hired quicker as a police officer if I decide to go that direction. There are many government jobs that I could work my way up with plus with a law degree obviosuly practicing is always an option. The attractive thing about a government job is the secuirty, benefits, and retirement packages. You're input is appreciated and a very good point


Keep in mind that a JD is actually a negative in applying to most non-legal jobs. You are seen as a flight risk. And not sure how a JD would make it quicker to become a police officer.

Also, keep in mind that getting a government legal job after law school is not very likely either. What jobs did you have in mind?



I inferred to a few police departments and one of the things they look at is education level which they said was important. Since people can apply to be police officers right out of high school, they said that seeing someone applying that has a Bachelors and Law degree shows dedication and a higher level of skill sets. I like your point about the non-legal jobs though, can you be a little more specific on the flight risk part? Government jobs I had in mind were anything that involved justice, such as FBI, intelligence and law enforcement, such as the Secret Service. There are many different jobs and government jobs hire based on different GS levels and having a JD qualifies you to apply for level GS-9 requirements. Its very competitive I know but obviously so is the legal market right now and there are many job openings with the government and they just started a "recent grads" program trying to hire more recent grads and offer more opportunities

lobolawyer
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby lobolawyer » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:37 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:No, I would join the military. Far cheaper and better experience to get BigIntelligence.


This. And learn Farsi or Chinese.

law2015admit
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby law2015admit » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:45 pm

lobolawyer wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:No, I would join the military. Far cheaper and better experience to get BigIntelligence.


This. And learn Farsi or Chinese.



I know Arabic. I'm near the level of proficency for "passing" the required fluency level. Still have grammatical sentence structure rules to master

curiousnole
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby curiousnole » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:13 am

If there is no compromising and that is your dream and military is not an option, a cheap jd is really your only viable option. I mean if you are willing to compromise on something else and cia/fbi is really just something you are just interested in, rather than truly devoted to, then yes, I guess get involved with law enforcement, but you have some chance with a jd whereas you have almost no chance otherwise (excluding high up military). I'm actually surprised TLSers are so against it. What would they like you to do? just give up on your dream? I mean you are proficient in arabic (HUGE ADVANTAGE), and you seem to have implied that you have been accepted to some respectable law schools (just not top 20), and you seem to be realistic about it; so what's not to like?

If you are willing to do military, you have to do something big, like special forces and just telling someone "yeah do military" is really sketchy advice to just give someone offhand haha. Joining the military is a huge commitment and not something you should do unless you really want it. I mean I get that TLS general wisdom is avoid a law degree at all cost, but in your situation it seems like the only real option is either abandon your dream or get the most cost effective jd you can get. Any tier 2's offer you full or near full? I mean if you can get your jd for under 50k, and their is no compromising on your dream, and you don't want high up military, then I don't see how getting your jd isn't a much better option than lower level law enforcement. If you don't have any other options than law schools that will put you in a ton of debt, then you should probably retake and reapply.

In addition to this, it seems as if these people are acting like if you get your jd and don't get your cia/fbi job you will be homeless... I mean yes it is difficult to get a law job, but it's not like you'll have nothing to show for failing, you can always you know... try and become a lawyer like everyone else on here is trying to do (which obviously is difficult, but doable)?

law2015admit
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby law2015admit » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:27 am

curiousnole wrote:If there is no compromising and that is your dream and military is not an option, a cheap jd is really your only viable option. I mean if you are willing to compromise on something else and cia/fbi is really just something you are just interested in, rather than truly devoted to, then yes, I guess get involved with law enforcement, but you have some chance with a jd whereas you have almost no chance otherwise (excluding high up military). I'm actually surprised TLSers are so against it. What would they like you to do? just give up on your dream? I mean you are proficient in arabic (HUGE ADVANTAGE), and you seem to have implied that you have been accepted to some respectable law schools (just not top 20), and you seem to be realistic about it; so what's not to like?

If you are willing to do military, you have to do something big, like special forces and just telling someone "yeah do military" is really sketchy advice to just give someone offhand haha. Joining the military is a huge commitment and not something you should do unless you really want it. I mean I get that TLS general wisdom is avoid a law degree at all cost, but in your situation it seems like the only real option is either abandon your dream or get the most cost effective jd you can get. Any tier 2's offer you full or near full? I mean if you can get your jd for under 50k, and their is no compromising on your dream, and you don't want high up military, then I don't see how getting your jd isn't a much better option than lower level law enforcement. If you don't have any other options than law schools that will put you in a ton of debt, then you should probably retake and reapply.

In addition to this, it seems as if these people are acting like if you get your jd and don't get your cia/fbi job you will be homeless... I mean yes it is difficult to get a law job, but it's not like you'll have nothing to show for failing, you can always you know... try and become a lawyer like everyone else on here is trying to do (which obviously is difficult, but doable)?



That really is my ultimate dream is to do FBI/CIA something like that. If I dont get a government job immediately then I do have a law degree and I could try to be a lawyer. I feel like trying to get ANY job right now is tough. Being in school three more years gives me three more years to stay out of the bad economy. Youre right I didnt get into top 20, and some lower tier schools offered me almost full tuition but if I can get a better education that still wont put me in too much debt i feel like that might be better. Im just not too high on the military idea. A couple people have told me to join the military and get a high level speical force position which could take a longer time than just getting a JD. Im not going to a school for sticker price.

lynch
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby lynch » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:19 am

law2015admit wrote:
curiousnole wrote:If there is no compromising and that is your dream and military is not an option, a cheap jd is really your only viable option. I mean if you are willing to compromise on something else and cia/fbi is really just something you are just interested in, rather than truly devoted to, then yes, I guess get involved with law enforcement, but you have some chance with a jd whereas you have almost no chance otherwise (excluding high up military). I'm actually surprised TLSers are so against it. What would they like you to do? just give up on your dream? I mean you are proficient in arabic (HUGE ADVANTAGE), and you seem to have implied that you have been accepted to some respectable law schools (just not top 20), and you seem to be realistic about it; so what's not to like?

If you are willing to do military, you have to do something big, like special forces and just telling someone "yeah do military" is really sketchy advice to just give someone offhand haha. Joining the military is a huge commitment and not something you should do unless you really want it. I mean I get that TLS general wisdom is avoid a law degree at all cost, but in your situation it seems like the only real option is either abandon your dream or get the most cost effective jd you can get. Any tier 2's offer you full or near full? I mean if you can get your jd for under 50k, and their is no compromising on your dream, and you don't want high up military, then I don't see how getting your jd isn't a much better option than lower level law enforcement. If you don't have any other options than law schools that will put you in a ton of debt, then you should probably retake and reapply.

In addition to this, it seems as if these people are acting like if you get your jd and don't get your cia/fbi job you will be homeless... I mean yes it is difficult to get a law job, but it's not like you'll have nothing to show for failing, you can always you know... try and become a lawyer like everyone else on here is trying to do (which obviously is difficult, but doable)?



That really is my ultimate dream is to do FBI/CIA something like that. If I dont get a government job immediately then I do have a law degree and I could try to be a lawyer. I feel like trying to get ANY job right now is tough. Being in school three more years gives me three more years to stay out of the bad economy. Youre right I didnt get into top 20, and some lower tier schools offered me almost full tuition but if I can get a better education that still wont put me in too much debt i feel like that might be better. Im just not too high on the military idea. A couple people have told me to join the military and get a high level speical force position which could take a longer time than just getting a JD. Im not going to a school for sticker price.


Understand what is involved in a CIA career before seeking to join the CIA. While the spying side of the CIA might be the seemingly glamor filled side you're hankering after, the Directorate of Operations (or "clandestine service" where the spies are located), is but one part of the CIA and a small part at that. The majority of CIA employees work in analytical positions, language positions and science, engineering, and technology positions. Matching your skills and aptitude to what you're best suited for may not see you working in the clandestine service positions at all, so be ready for this possibility. If you are planning to became a CIA and became spy I think you should choose military but if your after interested in analytical position you should choose jd, this is only my opinion, but i think you should choose military its not about the money that you will save but it is the experience and skills you will gain and when you enter jd, you will gain only analytical skills but I think the analytical skills that you will learn in joining military is much better. Military then special force you will gain so much knowledge and experience on it. And so FBI what can I say choose law school.

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby FantasticMrFox » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:52 am

law2015admit wrote:The primary reason that I decided to pursue a law degree was to be a highly competitive candidate with the FBI, CIA, or many other government agencies, etc. I have always had the thought that if I couldn't get one of those jobs immediately then I could always practice law since I would have a law degree. This idea seems less appealing when I start seeing prices of schools and bad outlooks on job prospects for graduating JD students. The federal agency hiring process is very competitive (however, a law degree is not required but is perferred and desired) so would you spend the money to get a law degree to hopefully be hired quickly by a government agency? I'm thinking I may be better off just trying to work as a police officer and gain the professional experience and then apply, a lot cheaper and would get paid doing it but it may just take a little while longer

No. Get a degree that will be more useful for you and do you know for a fact that they prefer/desire law degrees? I've personally never heard of this. And besides arabic, I do suggest learning chinese; plenty of people are bilingual nowadays so set yourself apart by being even more relevant.

Personally, I do not believe being a police officer will have any advantageous benefits, especially for CIA. Seeing it's mostly analytical, eating donuts won't help you.

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Tom Joad
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:56 am

I long time ago I thought about trying to go the CIA route and I know their webpage has hiring preferences on it. I think Urdu and Farsi are in high demand. I doubt Arabic or Chinese will set you apart much, just because we have so many bilingual immigrants from countries that speak those languages.

seatown12
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby seatown12 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:45 am

law2015admit wrote:... plus with a law degree obviosuly practicing is always an option ...

law2015admit wrote:... If I dont get a government job immediately then I do have a law degree and I could try to be a lawyer ...

See this is the problem: practicing law is not "always an option" unless you mean opening a solo shop. A huge proportion of 2012 JD grads do not have a job now and won't in 9 months. Legal hiring is a bloodbath and is absolutely not something to be relied on as a safe backup plan.

No one is saying give up on your dream, but you need to plan for the likelihood that you will not get that super competitive dream job. If you can get a JD for free and you don't mind dedicating another 3 years to being a student then maybe it's worth it. The likelihood of having nothing to show for those 3 years of work is just much higher than if you pursue another career. Also, I'm assuming you've looked into FBI hiring and know that two years of police or military experience is just as advantageous as a JD for someone with qualifying foreign language expertise.

skaterboyroland
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Re: The reason I decided to pursue a law degree

Postby skaterboyroland » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:55 pm

nvmd




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