USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

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Anonymous User
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USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:37 am

Considering doing a spring externship as a law clerk at the local USAO. Does anyone know if they typically drug test for this type of position?

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:41 am

I worked at one this past summer, no drug test, but a pretty extensive background check (~ 3 months). If you get caught lying on a background check, especially for the USAO, it's going to be a serious issue.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Renzo » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:48 am

Trust me on this: it's better to take another job than to risk lying about drug use during your background investigation for the USAO. You might possibly get away with it, but you also might not. Not only is it a crime to lie on the form, it's an instant death sentence to your legal career--it's like the textbook case for how to fail the Character & Fitness exam of the Bar.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:56 am

Renzo wrote:Trust me on this: it's better to take another job than to risk lying about drug use during your background investigation for the USAO. You might possibly get away with it, but you also might not. Not only is it a crime to lie on the form, it's an instant death sentence to your legal career--it's like the textbook case for how to fail the Character & Fitness exam of the Bar.


This is probably the best piece of advice I've read on this forum in a long time.

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Patriot1208
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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:54 pm

I'm surprised at the poster above who said he wasn't drug tested, because in the office by me everyone takes a urine drug test. And I would bet most of the DOJ offices do that.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:00 pm

Assuming that there is no drug test, how would they find out that an answer about drug usage was false (never charged, convicted, etc)?

Patriot- was it the actual AUSAs who were tested, or law clerks as well?

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:54 pm

I was a USAO intern last summer, and there were no drug tests, at least for the interns.

I don't think they could find out if an intern was actively using drugs, assuming no urine test, but they could certainly find out your drug usage history during the background check. I doubt for the interns that they do a significant background check, but for permanent positions they certainly do.

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spanktheduck
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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby spanktheduck » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:52 pm

I have worked as an intern in two offices. No drug test at either. Regardless though, DO NOT LIE. Take a different summer job if your drug usage disqualifies you. The feds do a rather extensive background check even for summer interns (they will call ppl). If you get caught lying on the form, you will likely be fucked for any future fed job and I imagine they would report you to C&F, which would really screw you. DO NOT LIE.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Considering doing a spring externship as a law clerk at the local USAO. Does anyone know if they typically drug test for this type of position?


Dumb question, but if you're actively using drugs, why are you applying to do an externship at your local USAO? Quit using or don't work there. Enforcement of US drug laws is part of the job. People don't come here and ask if its ok to stop paying taxes while applying to work for the IRS or DOJ Tax?!

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:22 pm

People don't come here and ask if its ok to stop paying taxes while applying to work for the IRS or DOJ Tax?!



But see Timothy M. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Assuming that there is no drug test, how would they find out that an answer about drug usage was false (never charged, convicted, etc)?

Patriot- was it the actual AUSAs who were tested, or law clerks as well?


I guess I just know for sure it was full time employees. I'm an intern at another part of the DOJ right now and had to take a urine test but i'm not at a USAO. But I know for sure the full time investigative assistants and AUSA's had to. But seriously, if you can't stay off drugs, don't work for the DOJ.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby 20160810 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:14 pm

I think today is stoner day on TLS. I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Unless you know FOR SURE that you will not be tested (e.g. you have a confidant who worked in the same office last summer, told you he was not tested, and you have no reason to believe the policy might change this year... and maybe even then), it is prudent to assume that you will be tested for any government job. Most actually don't, but (1.) a month without marijuana will not kill you and (2.) better safe than sorry.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:39 pm

Probably good advice. Urinalysis is such BS because it catches all the potheads but misses hard drug users because coke and heroin are out of your system in less than a week.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Probably good advice. Urinalysis is such BS because it catches all the potheads but misses hard drug users because coke and heroin are out of your system in less than a week.


true, but the alternative is something that will be even tougher on potheads.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Renzo » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:25 pm

SBL wrote:I think today is stoner day on TLS. I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Unless you know FOR SURE that you will not be tested (e.g. you have a confidant who worked in the same office last summer, told you he was not tested, and you have no reason to believe the policy might change this year... and maybe even then), it is prudent to assume that you will be tested for any government job. Most actually don't, but (1.) a month without marijuana will not kill you and (2.) better safe than sorry.

Good advice, but this misses the bigger issue specific to the USAO. The background questionnaire asks (under threat of criminal penalty)
In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs? When used without a prescription, illegal drugs include marijuana, cocaine, hashish, narcotics (opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.), stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines, etc.), depressants (barbiturates, methaqualone, tranquilizers, etc.), hallucinogenics (LSD, PCP, etc.).


The OP has two choices: 1) lie, take the job, and risk never being able to practice as an attorney; or 2) pass up a term time internship with no meaningful consequences, maybe even quit smoking and do it next year.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby 20160810 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:26 pm

Renzo wrote:
SBL wrote:I think today is stoner day on TLS. I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Unless you know FOR SURE that you will not be tested (e.g. you have a confidant who worked in the same office last summer, told you he was not tested, and you have no reason to believe the policy might change this year... and maybe even then), it is prudent to assume that you will be tested for any government job. Most actually don't, but (1.) a month without marijuana will not kill you and (2.) better safe than sorry.

Good advice, but this misses the bigger issue specific to the USAO. The background questionnaire asks (under threat of criminal penalty)
In the last year, have you used, possessed, supplied, or manufactured illegal drugs? When used without a prescription, illegal drugs include marijuana, cocaine, hashish, narcotics (opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.), stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines, etc.), depressants (barbiturates, methaqualone, tranquilizers, etc.), hallucinogenics (LSD, PCP, etc.).


The OP has two choices: 1) lie, take the job, and risk never being able to practice as an attorney; or 2) pass up a term time internship with no meaningful consequences, maybe even quit smoking and do it next year.

My advice is predicated upon the assumption that anyone who has to post a thread like this is already pretty much boned when it comes to questions like this. I know one guy who is working for the USAO, and he's literally never smoked pot in his life.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:34 pm

Is the background check here more extensive than C&F you think?

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eandy
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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby eandy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is the background check here more extensive than C&F you think?

Yes.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Renzo » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:41 pm

eandy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is the background check here more extensive than C&F you think?

Yes.

By orders of magnitude. And, the criteria are very different.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby 20160810 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is the background check here more extensive than C&F you think?

Yes. At least in CA, the background Qs for C&F aren't all that extensive at all w/r/t drugs. I was a character reference for one of my friends, and it basically only asked if he had a drug problem so bad it would prevent him from effectively representing his clients.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby sperry » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:32 am

Not applying for USAO positions, nor am I a drug user, but still interested in the background check they give you. If you've never been arrested, cited, suspended from a school/ college, or failed a drug test for a previous employer, wouldn't you be pretty much free and clear? How else would they determine that you'd lied on the question? I just ask, because even most pot heads I know have never had any of those things happen to them.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby CLS2011 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:48 am

sperry wrote:Not applying for USAO positions, nor am I a drug user, but still interested in the background check they give you. If you've never been arrested, cited, suspended from a school/ college, or failed a drug test for a previous employer, wouldn't you be pretty much free and clear? How else would they determine that you'd lied on the question? I just ask, because even most pot heads I know have never had any of those things happen to them.


Because they're going to interview everyone you've ever lived with (such as, say, random college roommates) and will ask the people you list as references for other people who know you that they can talk to. The odds of EVERY SINGLE ONE of the random people who lived near you / encountered you socially / worked with you / went to school with you that they could potentially talk to lying to an FBI background investigator about your drug use when they have nothing to gain from doing so is pretty low.

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:18 am

Because they're going to interview everyone you've ever lived with (such as, say, random college roommates) and will ask the people you list as references for other people who know you that they can talk to. The odds of EVERY SINGLE ONE of the random people who lived near you / encountered you socially / worked with you / went to school with you that they could potentially talk to lying to an FBI background investigator about your drug use when they have nothing to gain from doing so is pretty low.



The question doesn't ask whether you ever did drugs, just whether you did them in the last year. Furthermore, you don't list people you lived with, you list people who knew you when you lived at that address. You can always just list someone you trust for the last year

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:25 am

The question doesn't ask whether you ever did drugs, just whether you did them in the last year. Furthermore, you don't list people you lived with, you list people who knew you when you lived at that address. You can always just list someone you trust for the last year


Yeah, but then they will ask the "trusted people" to list additional people who knew you, and the trusted people could very well give the names of "non-trusted people."

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Re: USAO Law Clerk Position - Drug Test?

Postby Renzo » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, but then they will ask the "trusted people" to list additional people who knew you, and the trusted people could very well give the names of "non-trusted people."

This is the key. Having been on both ends of this procedure, I can tell you they ask every person "who else should we talk to that would know [candidate] well."




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