Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

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simontemplar
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Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby simontemplar » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:54 am

Can anyone comment on the opportunities that a law degree could help open up in the State Department, FBI, or CIA? I've heard stories of a small minority of law graduates being hired as special agents with the FBI/operations officers with the CIA. How critical is attending a "top law school" (top 20) to opening those doors? I'm honestly just interested in transactional law at this point, so this is more to satisfy the curiosity of my inner Jack Bauer. Although, I did study finance and foreign languages (Spanish and a Cat III language) in undergrad, with an original trajectory towards government service.

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ladybug89
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby ladybug89 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:44 am

Law is one of the five special agent entry programs, so I definitely think more than a small minority of new agents they hire are law graduates. I'm pretty sure the CIA doesn't have as direct a path, though the State Department does hire JDs, but like most government departments they hire their own clerks. I know that they do care a lot about school rank for their undergrad internships, so that probably extends to law school, but they also take people who are well connected with the office.

Bah, I started out with some vague thoughts that I thought might gel into something, but then they just ended up being unhelpful. sorry! hopefully someone more knowledgeable comes along...
Last edited by ladybug89 on Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fatduck
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby fatduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:47 am

it is extremely difficult and your law degree will not really help. you are about a billion times better off joining the nypd, making detective, and then applying.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:47 am

This has been discussed before and from what I recall, out of the five special agent entry programs, law is by far the most saturated and/or competitive. So, good luck.

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LSHopeful2
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby LSHopeful2 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:17 am

Are you suggesting that graduating from a top 20 law school and doing well will not put the applicant at a huge advantage for immediate interview/hire right after graduation? A law degree won't qualify one for the special agent or CIA/State Department positions based solely on education?

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:24 am

I am only a 1L but it looks like the intelligence community actively recruits at law schools. We have had some pretty high up people come and talk to us about careers. If they take the time to come and talk to a bunch of 1Ls, there must be at least a decent amount of interest. In fact they often complain that they can't get the most talented folks because of the private sector competition and low salary of federal jobs.

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mi-chan17
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby mi-chan17 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:44 pm

simontemplar wrote:Can anyone comment on the opportunities that a law degree could help open up in the State Department, FBI, or CIA? I've heard stories of a small minority of law graduates being hired as special agents with the FBI/operations officers with the CIA. How critical is attending a "top law school" (top 20) to opening those doors? I'm honestly just interested in transactional law at this point, so this is more to satisfy the curiosity of my inner Jack Bauer. Although, I did study finance and foreign languages (Spanish and a Cat III language) in undergrad, with an original trajectory towards government service.


Pretty much what everyone else has said so far seems accurate, but I also wanted to pointed out that Special Agents have to meet a minimum work experience requirement; even if they have an advanced degree. I think for people with advanced degrees that requirement is only a year or two, but still something to bear in mind.

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99.9luft
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby 99.9luft » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:50 pm

Dean Asha immediately comes to mind...

http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/ARangappa.htm

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Patriot1208 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:41 pm

fatduck wrote:it is extremely difficult and your law degree will not really help. you are about a billion times better off joining the nypd, making detective, and then applying.

This

Getting an interview as a new law school grad, without significant work experience, almost never happens. Getting a law degree is the worst way I can think of to get into the fbi.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby alexonfyre » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:01 pm

Be a federal prosecutor, they are basically super-empowered FBI agents who don't have to get shot at, and you can actually use your legal education. One of the most competitive jobs in all of law though.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:36 am

alexonfyre wrote:Be a federal prosecutor, they are basically super-empowered FBI agents who don't have to get shot at, and you can actually use your legal education. One of the most competitive jobs in all of law though.

98% of fbi agents don't ever get shot at either.

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Always Credited
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Always Credited » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:51 am

there goes my interest in the FBI

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alexonfyre
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby alexonfyre » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:12 am

Patriot1208 wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:Be a federal prosecutor, they are basically super-empowered FBI agents who don't have to get shot at, and you can actually use your legal education. One of the most competitive jobs in all of law though.

98% of fbi agents don't ever get shot at either.


Fair enough. Then FBI Agents who don't have to go through an AUSA to get anything done.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:28 am

alexonfyre wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:Be a federal prosecutor, they are basically super-empowered FBI agents who don't have to get shot at, and you can actually use your legal education. One of the most competitive jobs in all of law though.

98% of fbi agents don't ever get shot at either.


Fair enough. Then FBI Agents who don't have to go through an AUSA to get anything done.

I agree, sitting next to the fax machine at six at night waiting for an AUSA to get back with you before you can do anything does suck.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby alexonfyre » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:36 am

Patriot1208 wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:Be a federal prosecutor, they are basically super-empowered FBI agents who don't have to get shot at, and you can actually use your legal education. One of the most competitive jobs in all of law though.

98% of fbi agents don't ever get shot at either.


Fair enough. Then FBI Agents who don't have to go through an AUSA to get anything done.

I agree, sitting next to the fax machine at six at night waiting for an AUSA to get back with you before you can do anything does suck.


As does having to try to call one in the middle of the night to get authorization to make an arrest.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:08 am

alexonfyre wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:98% of fbi agents don't ever get shot at either.


Fair enough. Then FBI Agents who don't have to go through an AUSA to get anything done.

I agree, sitting next to the fax machine at six at night waiting for an AUSA to get back with you before you can do anything does suck.


As does having to try to call one in the middle of the night to get authorization to make an arrest.

Eh, that doesn't really happen. Any arrest made in the middle of the night wouldn't need a prior warrant. And raids are generally done early in the morning and authorization is given the day before.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby alexonfyre » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:09 am

Patriot1208 wrote:Eh, that doesn't really happen. Any arrest made in the middle of the night wouldn't need a prior warrant. And raids are generally done early in the morning and authorization is given the day before.


It isn't for a warrant, it is so that you don't go through all of the trouble of arresting and booking someone and the AUSA doesn't want to prosecute because it isn't worth his time. Things like finding half a pound of weed on someone (in some districts,) though I imagine that is more relevant to municipal and state police than federal investigators.

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DorianGray89
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby DorianGray89 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:13 am

The State Department hires JD's for both the foreign service and for the legal office at State. For the foreign service, it doesnt matter which school you went to, your resume and skills matter more, but for the legal office, you HAVE to have gone to a T14 school, and you HAVE to be in the top of your class. It is really competitive.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:15 am

alexonfyre wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:Eh, that doesn't really happen. Any arrest made in the middle of the night wouldn't need a prior warrant. And raids are generally done early in the morning and authorization is given the day before.


It isn't for a warrant, it is so that you don't go through all of the trouble of arresting and booking someone and the AUSA doesn't want to prosecute because it isn't worth his time. Things like finding half a pound of weed on someone (in some districts,) though I imagine that is more relevant to municipal and state police than federal investigators.

Ya, nothing like that is done with federal investigators. If they move on a suspect late at night, it's because they either have to move at that time or they already have a warrant. Most work at night is simply surveillance.

TheStrand
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby TheStrand » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:20 am

State Department is probably a better route than FBI if you want to get in with no experience. Though they are not taking anyone off the rolls (even those with higher scores), if things loosen up and they get funding, having a law degree (doesn't matter where it's from really) will bump you up a grade to a few steps into an FP-5. Speaking a "critical need" language would also help (Chinese, Arabic, I think Russian as well?). But keep in mind, the kind of glamorous "diplomat" work you are probably thinking of is much much more difficult to get. The political and economic tracks are by far the most competitive, and you will likely have to accept work on the consular track if you want a chance of getting in. Consular track means handling visa work and the like.

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alexonfyre
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby alexonfyre » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:23 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:Eh, that doesn't really happen. Any arrest made in the middle of the night wouldn't need a prior warrant. And raids are generally done early in the morning and authorization is given the day before.


It isn't for a warrant, it is so that you don't go through all of the trouble of arresting and booking someone and the AUSA doesn't want to prosecute because it isn't worth his time. Things like finding half a pound of weed on someone (in some districts,) though I imagine that is more relevant to municipal and state police than federal investigators.

Ya, nothing like that is done with federal investigators. If they move on a suspect late at night, it's because they either have to move at that time or they already have a warrant. Most work at night is simply surveillance.


I'm just replying at this point because the more times you post the more I get to look at your avatar. Also, I plan on going into the USAO eventually, so it is good stuff to know

AUTHOR'S NOTE: At the time of this post, Patriot's avatar was boobs.
Last edited by alexonfyre on Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fishdude
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby fishdude » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:58 pm

TheStrand wrote:State Department is probably a better route than FBI if you want to get in with no experience. Though they are not taking anyone off the rolls (even those with higher scores), if things loosen up and they get funding, having a law degree (doesn't matter where it's from really) will bump you up a grade to a few steps into an FP-5. Speaking a "critical need" language would also help (Chinese, Arabic, I think Russian as well?). But keep in mind, the kind of glamorous "diplomat" work you are probably thinking of is much much more difficult to get. The political and economic tracks are by far the most competitive, and you will likely have to accept work on the consular track if you want a chance of getting in. Consular track means handling visa work and the like.


Well, it's not quite that bleak. State is still hiring FSOs, but the schedule is becoming more erratic since congress can't pass a budget (there's an A-100 (the orientation for new FSOs) starting next week, but word on the street is that the May class could be canceled). As for the different tracks (or "cones") in the FS, Political and Public Diplomacy are the most popular these days, and Management is the least popular. Econ and Consular are in the middle. Degrees help, but you don't need a JD (there were a few lawyers who passed the exam with me, but they were a definite minority). Languages help too -- there are a bunch of "critical needs" and "super critical needs" languages that help the most, but Spanish will give you a boost too :)

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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby predent/prelaw » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:09 pm

When I visited GULC in the international law library this women who was talking to the security guard said that the CIA recruits from their..... but she also said that the supreme court cases are settled(before trial) in the mock trial room? So I believed her but people seem to bash the heck out of GULC on here so I don't know?

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:33 am

predent/prelaw wrote:When I visited GULC in the international law library this women who was talking to the security guard said that the CIA recruits from their..... but she also said that the supreme court cases are settled(before trial) in the mock trial room? So I believed her but people seem to bash the heck out of GULC on here so I don't know?

The CIA "recruits" at a huge number of schools but hire very few people and mostly analysts. Also, she might have been talking about their legal counsel jobs but those are very tough to get.

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zreinhar
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Re: Law degree -> Diplomat?FBI Special Agent?Operations Officer?

Postby zreinhar » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:37 am

Also kind of interested in this. Would having an engineering undergrad help in any way? I also have some odd work experience if I were to pursue that (more than two years by the time I would finish law school) Think that would separate me in any way?




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