1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

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1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:06 pm

I'm in a bit of a tough spot right now and have to make a decision immediately.

I was offered a position with one of the DOJ law enforcement agencies for my upcoming 1L summer. I accepted their offer, but their offer is contingent on me passing a background test. I had to fill out the SF-85. I also had to answer their illegal drug use questionnaire, on which I admitted to using marijuana 4 times, in 2006 (and this was the entirety of my use of any illegal drug at any time, i.e. i don't have a history of any recent drug usage, or anything besides marijuana).

So now I'm waiting on this background/suitability test, and worried I might fail. I emailed my contact at the DOJ agency, and they said it usually takes "several weeks" to render a final decision. So far I've only been waiting 4 weeks.

Just two days ago, I was offered a judicial externship, at a trial/superior court in my home state. I realize if I can't accept this position, I need to tell them immediately. The judge's office is already emailing me saying "your internship with judge X will start on this day, read this info packet, etc."

Basically, I'm afraid of having two job offers and ending up with nothing: I think I should cancel on the judicial position and wait out the DOJ background test. But what if I fail their test? I wish I could hold onto the judge offer until I pass the DOJ background test, but for all I know it could be another month or two before I pass that. And I don't think it's in good taste to stall the judge like that.

Alternatively, I could just take on the judge job and cancel with the DOJ one - but I technically already accepted their offer and they may or may not have already begun the background check. Also, of importance is that my school will fund the DOJ job (and I'd greatly prefer that) and the judge job will be unpaid (which I would probably be able to manage, but uncomfortably).

My problems would be resolved if someone could tell me with a high degree of certainty I'd probably pass the DOJ background test. Then I'd just cancel on the judge and ride out the background test. Is this probably the case?

Or, any thoughts on what I should do? I'm terrified of having to find another job at this point.

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Danger Zone
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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:26 pm

OP: PM me

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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:49 pm

I really doubt you'll fail based on smoking marijuana 4 times in 2006. (If you have other stuff you're worried about, I don't know about that.) I'm currently undergoing a DOJ background check for a permanent position and had to fill out the SF-86 (for national security positions). I was told when they hired me that the only deal-breaker, drugwise, was post-bar drug use (I graduated 2011). I have a hard time seeing that minimal pre-LS drug use, never repeated, would prevent them from hiring you for a summer internship.

But I should also add that I don't hire summer interns/run background checks, so I can't guarantee that. I just thought it might provide helpful context.

(I agree, though, that it's not good to stall the judge. In your position, I would ride out the background check and cancel with the judge. But again, I can't offer you any guarantees/certainty.)

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Danger Zone
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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:52 pm

For posterity, here is what I discussed in my PM to OP:

http://news.clearancejobs.com/2010/04/2 ... learances/

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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I really doubt you'll fail based on smoking marijuana 4 times in 2006. (If you have other stuff you're worried about, I don't know about that.) I'm currently undergoing a DOJ background check for a permanent position and had to fill out the SF-86 (for national security positions). I was told when they hired me that the only deal-breaker, drugwise, was post-bar drug use (I graduated 2011). I have a hard time seeing that minimal pre-LS drug use, never repeated, would prevent them from hiring you for a summer internship.

But I should also add that I don't hire summer interns/run background checks, so I can't guarantee that. I just thought it might provide helpful context.

(I agree, though, that it's not good to stall the judge. In your position, I would ride out the background check and cancel with the judge. But again, I can't offer you any guarantees/certainty.)


OP here.
The marijuana usage is the only thing I have to worry about. My record, AFAIK, is spotless otherwise. I'm thinking I will probably cancel the judge today. Thanks for the input!

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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:56 pm

Good link, thanks.

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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:57 pm

I will say this about DOJ bg checks. They take forever and are completely unpredictable so I don't think you can take their time lapse as a sign of rejection.

I had an underage alcohol possession from 5+ years ago which i disclosed. they took probably 3 weeks to even get back to me and then wanted more info. it took them almost another 3 weeks, so I was worried they were going to reject me, but then they gave me the green light.

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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:48 pm

OP here:

Well, I just declined the offer with the judge. Kind of scared now, but oh well. Here's to hoping I pass the DOJ background test. For posterity, I'll update this thread when I hear from them again!

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Re: 1L summer intern dilemma: Waiting on DOJ bg check v. judge

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:06 am

OP update:

I think everything worked out. I should be good.




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