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  • Question about FBI SA Hiring

    Hi everyone,
    I am considering applying to the FBI in the spring. I'm a third-year law student (God willing, I will graduate in May of 2010). Also, I minored in Russian in college, although I would need some polishing to the language requirements in Russian, I'm sure. I had planned on applying to the DEA after college, hence the Russian, but they had a hiring freeze as soon as I graduated. So I went to law school.

    My first question is this: does anyone know what the hiring outlook for the FBI is? At the beginning of one's third year is when legal employers are hiring... and while I would love to join the FBI, if it isn't in the cards, I would like to arrange some kind of paycheck after graduating! In other words, if there is serious doubt as to whether the FBI will even be hiring next spring when I graduate, I think I will try to start looking elsewhere now. As an aside to this question, if it possible for anyone to estimate, but do you have any idea what my chances might be? I'm currently at the top of my class at a pretty good law school, I was in the Army National Guard for a time, and as I noted, I speak some Russian (though I could improve on it a lot). I do not, however, have any LE background.

    Which leads to my second question: should I apply with a local PD, and (if I can get a job) work there while applying to the FBI? I figure that experience could be invaluable, especially given how long the application process can take. I don't think that my ultimate goal would be working at a local LE, however, as much of my experience and background is dealing with federal laws and such--but who knows, maybe I would love it. Despite these benefits, I would feel a bit disingenuous taking a job at a local PD while planning to leave as soon as I got a federal job. My other option after graduation would be to try to get a job as a prosecutor at some level, but legal jobs are pretty slim right now, so I might only be able to find a private practice firm.

    I would love to hear any thoughts anyone would have on these questions. Thank you!
    Last edited by camerong; 07-26-2009, 10:57 PM.

  • #2
    From my job hunt, I realized that the FBI is the only agency that you can be sure always takes in apps for agent positions, on a continous basis (they have a rock-hard budget). But I was told that on most cases they prefer applicants to have ‘real life’ experience before coming on. That might not be the case with a JD…but I think if you improve that language skill, combined with the JD…you’ll be a solid candidate. (But it has to be real good quality/ almost-fluent Russian!)

    I would put in applications all over after school, the FBI process can take a long time (over a yr if not longer), so if you can get a job (local LE, private practice, etc) and get some quality work experience while you are in the process…all the better.

    And I would also recommend you look at other agencies …I know people with JDs who applied to other agencies and received offers.
    Gluck!

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    • #3
      I heard that even with life experience they are really picky with who they hire. Is that true?

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      • #4
        If I were in your situation, I would apply to the law firms one way or the other. Having a JD and experience at a law firm is going to make you a much more competitive applicant than having a JD and experience as a local LEO. Hiring process is usually at least one year, minimum, so I would get a few other jobs lined up. The best advice hiring coordinators give their recruits is to continue on with your life, as if the application process isn't there--it makes it go faster, to boot. Best wishes.

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        • #5
          Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Do you have any idea what other agencies like JDs? I can see that several agencies list it as a sufficient qualification, but it sounds like JDs aren't really enough for some! And I don't think I would want to rest my chances on my Russian...

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          • #6
            First,.Check the FBI website. See what's shaking there. My sense is that you shouldn't limit yourself to the FBI, but look at other Federal agencies. Backing up a little. If you're about to get your JD, why not attempt the Bar Exam? Could make you a little more of a viable candidate. You've got some really great choices in front of you. Check them out, see where you'd be a fit. Hope things work out for you.

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            • #7
              What I would do is call your local field office and ask to speak to an applicant coordinator. They will be the ones who accept or reject your application once you put it in. I notice your in Ohio, here are the web sites for the two field offices in Ohio, http://cincinnati.fbi.gov/ http://cleveland.fbi.gov/ . Get the number from whichever office you are closest to (since that is the office you will be applying to, unless you move), then call the AC and see what he says. I spoke to mine here in Florida and he told me to wait a year because I will have more experience and etc. God Bless.

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