i originally applied for the FBI Phase 1 special agent postion when i was still in the military, i got out in '03. they just called me two weeks ago to see if i was still interested in phase II and i've had a full scope security clearance since 1998 (meaning i don't have to go through as rigorous a background check). 1.5 years is the time they tell everybody but realistically it takes 2-5 years from the time you apply until you enter into active service (if you have a squeeky clean record). that's for any government job that requires a security clearance, not just the FBI. do not work for the FBI. special agents start out at GS-10 which is somewhere around 50K. it takes an average of 10 years(if you're a jack bauer type) to, like most people, 15-20 years to get to a GS-15 which is somewhere around 100K. above that is the executive schedule 115K and above, but you have to wait for someone to die or retire to make that and there will be a long line of people ahead of you who've been waiting longer. if you want to work for the goverment with a law degree, the justice department is a better option.
Parts of what you say is true, parts are not. I have a government job with a security clearance and it did NOT take 2.5 years to get lol. I interviewed right out of college and was hired 6 months later.
Also, most government positions are career ladder positions. 3 years later, I'm a GS-12 and eligible for my GS-13 very soon. It's beyond 13 that things can take a while, but with the current climate of retirees it is a pretty good time to be a fed. However, a lot depends on your series. I'm in a pretty high demand series so the pay grade jumps have been good to me, however, there are a TON of higher grade attorneys in the government right now and therefore it is slow moving past GS-12 in many agencies.
It all depends on what you want. I have no desire to work for the feds after law school. If I did, I wouldn't be going through the hell that is law school because I can make a good government wage without it.
uh all of what i am saying is correct. if you got yours in 6 months then your security clearance was expidited, doesn't mean your're fully cleared they just grant you the lowest clearance you need to get into the building depending on the agency you work for. whichever agency you work for will still do a full scope etc. if you're not in the intelligence field series codes (0132) or (1811) then the the clearance process is different and less stringent. FBI special agents and intelligence support postions fall under the intellgence job series (0132) and (1811). they will still do a full scope background investigation which unless you've never had even a parking ticket can not be completed in 6 months. the FBI and some other agencies do not give expidited clearances. you have to be fully cleared and polygraphed before you can step foot in the building. in the 10 years i've been working in the IC i've never seen that entire process take less than 1 year and that's if they are really desperate. back to the FBI, they will still make you go through the entire security /polygraph process regardless of your current clearance status. if you have a clearance than you know how stupid and time wasting that is. even if you've just had your 5 year update they still take you through the entire process and re-polygraph you. i worked in the intelligence field from 1998- June 2007 for NSA CIA and DIA. i've not worked for FBI because their process is the long, time consuming and redundant.