Federal employment w/ drug record

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Anonymous User
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Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:31 pm

Hi,

What federal attorney jobs are most lenient with applicants who have a record of past drug use? I browsed through the DoJ, FBI, etc., sites and it seems to vary from agency to agency. Some want 1 year clean, some want 3, some look at how many times you used.

Formally, my only record is a misdemeanor marijuana charge during undergrad. But if they ask me about drug use, give a polygraph, or interview people who know me, they're going to find out a whole lot more than that. Let's just say, they'll definitely find out about regular marijuana use from age 14 on, and might find out about use of other drugs.

Do I have a chance at any federal employment? Are there any particular agencies or positions that don't require a security clearance? What about clerkship hiring?

Thanks!

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20160810
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Re: Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby 20160810 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:44 pm

A trivial pot arrest probably won't DQ you for most jobs, but you need to disclose it. You can get in far, far, far more trouble for lying about this than for the pot arrest itself. Generally govt. employers just need a particular number of years to go by after your last use (I've heard numbers ranging from 3 to 7, depending on the agency).

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Re: Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:53 pm

OP: you're probably out of luck here. While most federal agencies say that you're not ineligible as long as you haven't done them in __ years, they insert the caveat that regular drug use of any kind in your past is going to present considerable problems w/ your candidacy.

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Re: Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:57 pm

SBL wrote:A trivial pot arrest probably won't DQ you for most jobs, but you need to disclose it. You can get in far, far, far more trouble for lying about this than for the pot arrest itself. Generally govt. employers just need a particular number of years to go by after your last use (I've heard numbers ranging from 3 to 7, depending on the agency).

Great, thanks! I'm confident that they'll overlook 1 misdemeanor at age 18 (not applying for DEA or anything.)

But other posts seem to indicate that they ask how many times you've smoked marijuana-- we're talking four digits here, and that's with me being younger than others applying for these jobs. Am I screwed? I would feel more comfortable answering questions honestly than risking my career, and I've used LSD, mushrooms, etc., (tried coke early in high school, but I doubt if they'd find out about that.)

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Re: Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP: you're probably out of luck here. While most federal agencies say that you're not ineligible as long as you haven't done them in __ years, they insert the caveat that regular drug use of any kind in your past is going to present considerable problems w/ your candidacy.

Thanks. Maybe it's best I make other plans from the beginning of law school instead of focusing on something I won't get it. Anyone know if other legal jobs will be more open to me-- especially clerkships/academia?

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Re: Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:50 pm

Are people here saying that if they hadn't smoked marijuana in 2 years, they would answer in the affirmative when asked by a government agency if they had smoked marijuana in the past 3 years (no drug test problems, no polygraph)?

I understand that disqualifying yourself from the job would be the honest course of action, but I'm wondering if, given that so many people are on edge about finding a job in this economy, those same people would pass up an opportunity that would require some dishonesty.

Renzo
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Re: Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby Renzo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:01 am

The thing that will help/hurt you most is the time since you last used any illicit drug. So stop now, if you haven't already. Patterns of use that would disqualify you if recent might not if they happened 10 years ago, and you could demonstrate that it was all well behind you.

Are people here saying that if they hadn't smoked marijuana in 2 years, they would answer in the affirmative when asked by a government agency if they had smoked marijuana in the past 3 years (no drug test problems, no polygraph)?

I understand that disqualifying yourself from the job would be the honest course of action, but I'm wondering if, given that so many people are on edge about finding a job in this economy, those same people would pass up an opportunity that would require some dishonesty.
Some people might lie. But I think you aren't thinking through the consequences of lying to the federal government, on a form that will exist forever, when trying to pursue a job in a career that values truth above all else.

Plenty of lawyers get DUI's, assault charges, etc. and are allowed to practice. But I guarantee that if at any point in your career it comes out that you lied to get a federal job, you'll never practice again.

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MrKappus
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Re: Federal employment w/ drug record

Postby MrKappus » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:30 am

OP: see https://oscar.uscourts.gov/drupal/conte ... d-benefits

"As of May 16, 2005, newly hired law clerks must undergo a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check. A judge also has the option of requiring a new law clerk to undergo a FBI Central Records Systems name check and a credit check. An employment appointment is provisional and contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the required fingerprint check and other option checks, if required. The court will arrange processing the background checks upon notification of an applicant's selection for a position."


It looks like some judges might not use the more rigorous SF-86, although above blurb says that judges can opt for additional security checks at their discretion. I'd imagine for Districts or Circuits that see a lot of national security-related cases (DC, Fed. Circuit, 2nd Cir, etc.), you're probably not getting by w/ just a fingerprint. But I admit ignorance on this point. HTH.




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