USAO summer intern background check question

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Anonymous User
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USAO summer intern background check question

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:49 pm

I have been extended an offer to intern with the Unites States Attorneys Office contingent upon a background check. I was reviewing the forms, and one of the questions I noticed deals with drug use in the past year. I used to smoke marijuana regularly, but don't anymore. I have, however, used on occasion within the past year. I know I should disclose this, and I want to know if this will disqualify me from the position?

I have an interview with a federal judge coming up, and I think the security clearance is less stringent for them, so I am relying on this as a backup. Can someone with experience on these matters either confirm or disprove this? My worst nightmare is accepting a position, but then failing the background check and being left without a summer job.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:27 pm

Drug use within the last year is an automatic disqualifier for DOJ

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Borhas
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby Borhas » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have been extended an offer to intern with the Unites States Attorneys Office contingent upon a background check. I was reviewing the forms, and one of the questions I noticed deals with drug use in the past year. I used to smoke marijuana regularly, but don't anymore. I have, however, used on occasion within the past year. I know I should disclose this, and I want to know if this will disqualify me from the position?

I have an interview with a federal judge coming up, and I think the security clearance is less stringent for them, so I am relying on this as a backup. Can someone with experience on these matters either confirm or disprove this? My worst nightmare is accepting a position, but then failing the background check and being left without a summer job.


If you disclose it you won't get a job. Who's to say you were smoking? You sure it wasnt somebody else? You sure you inhaled? You think they are going to spend the money do to interview your friends and neighbors to figure out if you, an freaking intern, smoked pot in a year? Or do you think the questionnaire is a cheap way to get dopers who can't keep a secret to out themselves?

GMVarun
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby GMVarun » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you disclose it you won't get a job. Who's to say you were smoking? You sure it wasnt somebody else? You sure you inhaled? You think they are going to spend the money do to interview your friends and neighbors to figure out if you, an freaking intern, smoked pot in a year? Or do you think the questionnaire is a cheap way to get dopers who can't keep a secret to out themselves?


This is terrible advice. First, an answer on the clearance form cannot be used in a future criminal prosecution (nor would the DOJ contemplate doing this). Second, while you are right that the chance of investigation for an intern position is low (though not non-existent), lying on the clearance form is a federal crime. An intern position is not worth the small chance of being caught committing a federal crime. Even if the DOJ chooses not to prosecute, this lie, at the very minimum, will pose huge character and fitness problems. Third, if OP ever wants to work as an AUSA, the DOJ will conduct an investigation. Lying now essentially ensures no future career as an AUSA.

OP, I am sorry to say but your chance of passing the security clearance (assuming you tell the truth) is very low. While occasional prior marijuana use is not an automatic disqualifier, use in the past year will very likely disqualify you. It also seems that you have more than habitual prior use, which in itself might also disqualify you. My suggestion is to look for another position and then decline the AUSA job, saying you found another opportunity. There is no use going through a security clearance you are bound to fail. If you do decide to submit your clearance form, you should be honest (though pay attention to the time period requested) and continue to look for other summer positions. Good luck.

Edit: Yes, most federal judicial internships have no to very minimal security clearances. I had no background clearance for mine. This will very likely not be an issue for that position.

zomginternets
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby zomginternets » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:11 am

GMVarun wrote:Edit: Yes, most federal judicial internships have no to very minimal security clearances. I had no background clearance for mine. This will very likely not be an issue for that position.


My fed judicial internship also did not require a background check, but my externship office told me that this was definitely the exception and not the rule.

delusional
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby delusional » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:22 am

If you are seriously considering opting yourself out of a job because of this, you would indeed be a great government employee. Except perhaps more of a DMV type role.

sparty99
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby sparty99 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have been extended an offer to intern with the Unites States Attorneys Office contingent upon a background check. I was reviewing the forms, and one of the questions I noticed deals with drug use in the past year. I used to smoke marijuana regularly, but don't anymore. I have, however, used on occasion within the past year. I know I should disclose this, and I want to know if this will disqualify me from the position?

I have an interview with a federal judge coming up, and I think the security clearance is less stringent for them, so I am relying on this as a backup. Can someone with experience on these matters either confirm or disprove this? My worst nightmare is accepting a position, but then failing the background check and being left without a summer job.


If you disclose it you won't get a job. Who's to say you were smoking? You sure it wasnt somebody else? You sure you inhaled? You think they are going to spend the money do to interview your friends and neighbors to figure out if you, an freaking intern, smoked pot in a year? Or do you think the questionnaire is a cheap way to get dopers who can't keep a secret to out themselves?


+ 1

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Shmoopy
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby Shmoopy » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:06 pm

What kind of drug test is it? A hair test might reveal use in the past year, so you could get caught if you deny drug use. A pee test is less likely to reveal use, but might depending on how many months it's been, how regular your use was, and how much body fat you have.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:57 pm

My understanding is that the USAO doesn't actually run the tests/go interview your friends/check all the background stuff for internships; if you have a prima facie acceptable background, you don't actually get a clearance, you get a waiver for a clearance. (Clearances are really expensive so actually running them for interns is cost-prohibitive.) The check goes through central DOJ in DC and takes a while, so they check some things, but it's not the same as actually getting a full clearance. For instance, I wasn't drug tested when I was an intern at the USAO.

That said, I would not suggest lying on the form - it's not that I think they're likely to check/find out, but you do have to swear that you've answered everything truthfully, and I just don't think lying to DOJ is a good thing to do, especially to start your legal career. Obviously that's something you have to decide for yourself.

As for drug use, I know that for post-grad positions, post-bar drug use is an absolute bar.

A federal judicial internship is really really unlikely to care.

Anonymous User
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My understanding is that the USAO doesn't actually run the tests/go interview your friends/check all the background stuff for internships; if you have a prima facie acceptable background, you don't actually get a clearance, you get a waiver for a clearance. (Clearances are really expensive so actually running them for interns is cost-prohibitive.) The check goes through central DOJ in DC and takes a while, so they check some things, but it's not the same as actually getting a full clearance. For instance, I wasn't drug tested when I was an intern at the USAO.

That said, I would not suggest lying on the form - it's not that I think they're likely to check/find out, but you do have to swear that you've answered everything truthfully, and I just don't think lying to DOJ is a good thing to do, especially to start your legal career. Obviously that's something you have to decide for yourself.

As for drug use, I know that for post-grad positions, post-bar drug use is an absolute bar.

A federal judicial internship is really really unlikely to care.


OP here,

anyone have details on what the background check for a federal judge is like?

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jessuf
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby jessuf » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:30 pm

My background check for a federal judge involved fingerprinting, a background check form (no questions on drug use), and then a bunch of forms on social media use, ethics, etc. etc. Everything was pretty painless except for coordinating the fingerprinting.

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ilovesf
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby ilovesf » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:35 pm

Jessuf wrote:My background check for a federal judge involved fingerprinting, a background check form (no questions on drug use), and then a bunch of forms on social media use, ethics, etc. etc. Everything was pretty painless except for coordinating the fingerprinting.

Me too.

omg clay aiken !
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby omg clay aiken ! » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:17 am

do any of you pot smoking doj interns feel at all hypocritical?

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kalvano
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:46 am

This thread is chock full of egregious anon abuse.

lalalola531
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Re: USAO summer intern background check question

Postby lalalola531 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:55 am

good god, DO NOT LIE ever, ever, ever, to the federal government if you ever hope to have job at DOJ. there is no drug test, to whomever suggested that. There is a number at DOJ you can call anonymously to get a consult if you have a particular concern about your background. Its through the Office of Attorney Management and Recruitment. Making this call in itself is not going to impact your chances. Call them first before listening to the all-knowing law students of the online forum world...




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