Law school or become a cop??

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weee
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby weee » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:04 am

Go be a cop for a couple years, save some money, take the LSAT and if you score well apply and have a great personal statement that talks about your time as a cop, get a sweet scholarship somewhere and graduate with no debt, then do whatever you want with your life.

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Grizz
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby Grizz » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:36 am

weee wrote:Go be a cop for a couple years, save some money, take the LSAT and if you score well apply and have a great personal statement that talks about your time as a cop, get a sweet scholarship somewhere and graduate with no debt, then do whatever you want with your life.


I know someone who did cop -> PD -> criminal defense solo and was damn good at it and made quite a bit of cash. It can be done.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby Patriot1208 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:57 am

MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"

Lol at thinking law is a better profession for most than law enforcement

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mpj_3050
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby mpj_3050 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:00 am

The bad guys have guns too.

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2807
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 2807 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:30 am

I was one, heading to school now to be the other.

Your age and your degree will help your entrance into both.
Your personality and aptitude will define your future in both.

If both appeal to you, like they did me, I would recommend you pursue both and see what happens. You have to get an LSAT score/apply/see what happens before you decide this.

Also, you can start the process for police hiring at the same time. It is not a fast process either, certainly in this economy. See how you score on the tests, when the academy starts, where you will work, etc.

Ideally, be a cop, go to school at night. I know a few who have done it. Many options after you are both. Like I am doing 8)
You can also be a reserve/volunteer officer and get the experience and training before you commit, and/or be an attorney and reserve officer at the same time. I worked with many professional people who always wanted to be an officer but did the reserve thing instead, volunteered a few nights a month, and got the thrill of it all while having a normal career too. Doing law enforcement for free is incredibly respectable.

That being said:
Being a cop is tough. It is everything you think it is, and nothing you ever dreamed of. Do not believe all the media and nonsense. Go on ride-alongs, get a scanner, and talk to officers in confidence about the reality of the job. Patrol is not for everyone, maybe you would be better at detectives or other options, but make sure you are aware of what you are deciding. Do not do it for money/benefits. You will resent all of that right away. There is not enough money or benefit to justify the things you will have to do. Trust me. If you want money, do something else, where the money will validate the effort. That is not law enforcement. No matter how many fat-cops-eating-donuts and nonsense appear to be milking the system-- when it hits the fan... they run in when everyone else runs out. And they do not do it for the money.

I respect your aspirations to be an officer, but keep in mind you are considering to forgo a professional career with many more opportunities and the ability to ascend according to your ability, drive, hard work, honesty, initiative, process, and capacity. Or, you will be a cog in the wheel of a vast civil service bureaucracy, hated by many, needed by all, and wearing a bullet-proof vest.

You only wear a bullet-proof vest for one reason.

Trust me, I come from the future.

09042014
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 09042014 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:38 am

MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"


Being the law student is the plumber.

03121202698008
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:42 am

As someone who was a cop, make sure you want to be one. They are completely different jobs with completely different pros/cons. Also, if you go into with the attitude you are "settling" for it, you'll never be happy (and likely never do well).

Also, getting hired as a cop is definitely not guaranteed, especially in highly desirable areas or high paying depts. I've heard of thousands of applications for a single position. Many smaller depts interview together and form a single candidate list. They then hire off this list for 1-2 years as need, then discharge the list, and start all back over.

Also, if you think you're going to be a cop to avoid long hours...think again. Most of my friends average 60+ hours a week once you factor in mandatory overtime, training, recertification, paper work, and court time. Nights, weekends, holidays....when everyone else is out having time is when the most cops are on the street. Try working 2p-2a...you'll never see anyone or have a life.

Edit: I loved being a cop...but it isn't for everyone and isn't a last resort.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:01 am, edited 3 times in total.

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2807
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 2807 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:46 am

Desert Fox wrote:
MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"


Being the law student is the plumber.


I am a licensed plumber too. 8)

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prezidentv8
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:12 am

MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"


Image

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AreJay711
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:19 am

Desert Fox wrote:
MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"


Being the law student is the plumber.


Hmmm, I know average plumbers making 85K a year and great one's making 6 figures (upper 6 figured if you include owners). Plumbing might have better return on investment. $500 on tools and get paid to learn.

flcath
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby flcath » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:20 am

This apparently doesn't apply to the OP (who's older), but the whole COP AT AGE 18 --> RETIREMENT AND PENSION AT 38 track seems like a scam-ishly good deal.

03121202698008
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:23 am

flcath wrote:This apparently doesn't apply to the OP (who's older), but the whole COP AT AGE 18 --> RETIREMENT AND PENSION AT 38 track seems like a scam-ishly good deal.


First off, few depts hire 18 year-olds. In a lot of states, you must be 21. That seemed like a good deal to me too...once you live the life though many decide it's not worth it. It has the potential to define/destroy your whole life. Not everyone can make it that long, its dangerous, etc. And retirement pay isn't typically your entire salary so you'd still need another career after that. Except now you're older, lots of places won't hire, and limited retirement because won't work there long enough.

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2807
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 2807 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:32 am

flcath wrote:This apparently doesn't apply to the OP (who's older), but the whole COP AT AGE 18 --> RETIREMENT AND PENSION AT 38 track seems like a scam-ishly good deal.



I believe both of your numbers are wrong.

Where I am (and it is vastly normal) it is 21 yrs to be hired and full pension is earned at 30 years. So 51 years old and a very nice pension is possible.

But you have to carry the scam and survive for 30 years.

What a bargain.

lukebyalibi
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby lukebyalibi » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:34 am

Yeah I understand all the crappy working conditions, long hours, paperwork etc.. as I said I have friends that are cops, and all they do is complain about it. I have started the hiring process for a few local departments, and lets just say its tough when you score in the top 10% on the tests, but do not even get past the testing process! Its crazy one place had 2000 apps for 3 jobs! WTF is that lol. That is how it is everywhere right now, so I am not disillusioned as to how hard it is to land a job in this economy.

I def do not want to work as a cop for 5 years or so, then go back to law school, I would rather keep the train moving why I am still in the whole "school mode".

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2807
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 2807 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:42 am

lukebyalibi wrote:Yeah I understand all the crappy working conditions, long hours, paperwork etc.. as I said I have friends that are cops, and all they do is complain about it. I have started the hiring process for a few local departments, and lets just say its tough when you score in the top 10% on the tests, but do not even get past the testing process! Its crazy one place had 2000 apps for 3 jobs! WTF is that lol. That is how it is everywhere right now, so I am not disillusioned as to how hard it is to land a job in this economy.

I def do not want to work as a cop for 5 years or so, then go back to law school, I would rather keep the train moving why I am still in the whole "school mode".



Great! That wraps it up.

Go to law school. Do the best you can. Get in, get done, and see where you end up. In 4 or 5 years you will still have the same options as far as a career. And a law degree will move you to the front of the line for PD hiring, coupled with your age at that point, and certainly the way you will carry yourself after your training and hard work in school. You will be better. They will see it. Your future will thank you.

And, with your degrees, you will have fantastic options in a department to promote and expand your opportunities. Craft your law school studies to blend with law enforcement/management/corporate security... many angles there that could be fantastic.

Or, of course, DA work 8)

School first. No doubt about it.

You can do it.

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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:44 am

lukebyalibi wrote:Yeah I understand all the crappy working conditions, long hours, paperwork etc.. as I said I have friends that are cops, and all they do is complain about it. I have started the hiring process for a few local departments, and lets just say its tough when you score in the top 10% on the tests, but do not even get past the testing process! Its crazy one place had 2000 apps for 3 jobs! WTF is that lol. That is how it is everywhere right now, so I am not disillusioned as to how hard it is to land a job in this economy.

I def do not want to work as a cop for 5 years or so, then go back to law school, I would rather keep the train moving why I am still in the whole "school mode".


Yeah, a lot of positions get filled by ex-military too. They get preference points under most civil service systems.

lukebyalibi
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby lukebyalibi » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:52 am

Thanks for all the solid advice everyone! I will keep you all posted when I kill the LSAT!

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MrKappus
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby MrKappus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:08 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"

Lol at thinking law is a better profession for most than law enforcement


Lol for thinking there was a value judgment in my statement.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby SemperLegal » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:19 pm

blowhard wrote:
flcath wrote:This apparently doesn't apply to the OP (who's older), but the whole COP AT AGE 18 --> RETIREMENT AND PENSION AT 38 track seems like a scam-ishly good deal.


First off, few depts hire 18 year-olds. In a lot of states, you must be 21. That seemed like a good deal to me too...once you live the life though many decide it's not worth it. It has the potential to define/destroy your whole life. Not everyone can make it that long, its dangerous, etc. And retirement pay isn't typically your entire salary so you'd still need another career after that. Except now you're older, lots of places won't hire, and limited retirement because won't work there long enough.


They earn it, so no sour grapes, but there is no job better then Retired LE, due to LEO Saftey Act allowing them to carry anywhere, the ease of getting part time work as a Special Marshall/Sheriff, the connections you have, and the lack of need for health insurance, you can easily clear a quarter million. Hell I used to work security and the "consultant" who merely was there to pull strings and get rowdy people fingerprinted and/or arrested made more than $200,000.00 a year for carrying a cell phone. He was a former Lt from the State Police though (from a state where State Troopers are more the Highway Patrol)

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MrKappus
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby MrKappus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:27 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"


Image


Not sure what's FP-worthy of pointing out that the cop/lawyer distinction is similar to the one I mentioned. It says something about the state of law as a career that people narrow it down to: "Should I practice law, or should I enforce laws with a gun and physical force?" The two careers deal with the law, but otherwise I can't see any similarities.

Unless OP's point wasn't that the two careers are connected at all. If his question just meant to throw two options out there, akin to "Should I be a lawyer or an apple farmer?", then I guess I misunderstood. My bad.

lukebyalibi
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby lukebyalibi » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:57 pm

I think both options are highly differential in the approach each has to the law. These are just the two options that interest me the most as far as possible career choices go. Each intrigues me in different ways

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Bartlebee06
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby Bartlebee06 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:33 pm

AreJay711 wrote:
Knock wrote:One of these professions gets to carry a gun. I think you know what the right decision is here.


This.



Lawyers can pack too, depending on the state. The profession leads you to piss alot of people off so I plan to have my peice on me.

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2807
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby 2807 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:38 pm

SemperLegal wrote:
blowhard wrote:
flcath wrote:This apparently doesn't apply to the OP (who's older), but the whole COP AT AGE 18 --> RETIREMENT AND PENSION AT 38 track seems like a scam-ishly good deal.


First off, few depts hire 18 year-olds. In a lot of states, you must be 21. That seemed like a good deal to me too...once you live the life though many decide it's not worth it. It has the potential to define/destroy your whole life. Not everyone can make it that long, its dangerous, etc. And retirement pay isn't typically your entire salary so you'd still need another career after that. Except now you're older, lots of places won't hire, and limited retirement because won't work there long enough.


They earn it, so no sour grapes, but there is no job better then Retired LE, due to LEO Saftey Act allowing them to carry anywhere, the ease of getting part time work as a Special Marshall/Sheriff, the connections you have, and the lack of need for health insurance, you can easily clear a quarter million. Hell I used to work security and the "consultant" who merely was there to pull strings and get rowdy people fingerprinted and/or arrested made more than $200,000.00 a year for carrying a cell phone. He was a former Lt from the State Police though (from a state where State Troopers are more the Highway Patrol)


I assure you this is NOT normal. The opposite is the normal. Health insurance is a major burden for retired police officers. No one will take you (for obvious pre-existing issues after a 20-30 year career, and your age at the time), so you are forced by default to remain with where you were as an employee, and the costs for a non-employee/retiree are outrageous.

Unless you mean "need" by meaning "hey you'll be dead soon, so don't waste your money..."
FBI national stats indicate the average officer lives 7 years after retirement. Trust me, they know this when contract negotiations and retirement benefits are negotiated.
Last edited by 2807 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FiveSermon
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:40 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
MrKappus wrote:This is kind of like asking "Should I be a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, or a plumber?"


Being the law student is the plumber.


Do you guys how much plumbers make? It's a lot more than you guys think.

lukebyalibi
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Re: Law school or become a cop??

Postby lukebyalibi » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:46 pm

Yeah I heard that plumbers make a crap load of money. It is a field that has a small supply of plumbers and a huge demand for services. Probably gets overlooked just because well you are a plumber! Not prestigious enough for some people I suppose.




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