Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

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Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:08 pm

Currently a 2L at T25 here. I'll be heading to a satellite office of V25 in the Midwest next summer. I'm also currently in the Army National Guard with a security clearance. I'm thinking about dropping my Guard duties before leaving school to focus on my corporate firm job. However, my end goal is to get a Fed Gov position in DC or wherever else down the road. Should I do everything within my powers to continue serving in the Guard & keep my clearance? Do you know anyone who's handling the big firm job with military duties on the side (Guard/Reserve)? Security clearance seems to be virtually useless at law firms, but Fed Gov may value it, depending on the agency. Thanks in advance for all the inputs!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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elterrible78

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Currently a 2L at T25 here. I'll be heading to a satellite office of V25 in the Midwest next summer I'm also currently in the Army National Guard with a security clearance. I'm thinking about dropping my Guard duties before leaving school to focus on my corporate firm job. However, my end goal is to get a Fed Gov position in DC or wherever else down the road. Should I do everything within my powers to continue serving in the Guard & keep my clearance? Do you know anyone who's handling the big firm job with military duties on the side (Guard/Reserve)? Security clearance seems to be virtually useless at law firms, but Fed Gov may value it, depending on the agency. Thanks in advance for all the inputs!


I had a TS/SCI and I kind of wanted to keep it, but didn't. I don't see how it would be useful to me now, so I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor in staying in. I don't know anyone who does both biglaw and guard. Although I'm sure it's possible, it wouldn't be easy, and I wouldn't want to deal with the hassle. Plus, you're really rolling the dice if you do an IST, because you could end up in a completely ate-up unit, and that would just compound the problems.

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:36 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Currently a 2L at T25 here. I'll be heading to a satellite office of V25 in the Midwest next summer I'm also currently in the Army National Guard with a security clearance. I'm thinking about dropping my Guard duties before leaving school to focus on my corporate firm job. However, my end goal is to get a Fed Gov position in DC or wherever else down the road. Should I do everything within my powers to continue serving in the Guard & keep my clearance? Do you know anyone who's handling the big firm job with military duties on the side (Guard/Reserve)? Security clearance seems to be virtually useless at law firms, but Fed Gov may value it, depending on the agency. Thanks in advance for all the inputs!


I had a TS/SCI and I kind of wanted to keep it, but didn't. I don't see how it would be useful to me now, so I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor in staying in. I don't know anyone who does both biglaw and guard. Although I'm sure it's possible, it wouldn't be easy, and I wouldn't want to deal with the hassle. Plus, you're really rolling the dice if you do an IST, because you could end up in a completely ate-up unit, and that would just compound the problems.


Yeah, that's my concern as well. Fortunately, I'll be able to stay with my current unit, which is very flexible and has been great to me while in school. And I like doing the military duty on the side. But I could see how it'd be a major hassle while working full-time. I don't know, I really want to keep my clearance, but it won't be easy. Who knows, we'll see. Thanks for the response!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:43 pm

As someone at an agency that doesn't require TS, but does require pretty extensive security-based background checks, I don't think it would make that much difference. My sense is that an agency is going to hire who they want to hire, and they're used to waiting for people to go through background checks. And presumably since you've had TS they'd be confident that you'd be able to get it again. (That said, I could well be missing something unique about TS versus other kinds of security clearance.)

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby globetrotter659 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:As someone at an agency that doesn't require TS, but does require pretty extensive security-based background checks, I don't think it would make that much difference. My sense is that an agency is going to hire who they want to hire, and they're used to waiting for people to go through background checks. And presumably since you've had TS they'd be confident that you'd be able to get it again. (That said, I could well be missing something unique about TS versus other kinds of security clearance.)


This exactly. The private sector (read: gov contractors) cares because they don't want to shell out for an expensive security clearance process. For the government, it's just a cost of doing business. It certainly looks favorable that you have previously maintained a clearance though.

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:41 am

globetrotter659 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As someone at an agency that doesn't require TS, but does require pretty extensive security-based background checks, I don't think it would make that much difference. My sense is that an agency is going to hire who they want to hire, and they're used to waiting for people to go through background checks. And presumably since you've had TS they'd be confident that you'd be able to get it again. (That said, I could well be missing something unique about TS versus other kinds of security clearance.)


This exactly. The private sector (read: gov contractors) cares because they don't want to shell out for an expensive security clearance process. For the government, it's just a cost of doing business. It certainly looks favorable that you have previously maintained a clearance though.


OP here. Thanks for the advice. I'll probably try to stay in the Guard as long as I can (not just for the clearance - I really enjoy the military work on the side) at the firm. If it becomes an issue or I figure it's just not feasible, then I'll have to re-think it. Also, I'm interested in joining one of the big contractors (BAH, Lockheed, etc.) in their legal office down the road (if the Fed doesn't seem to work out). Do you have experience in that?

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
globetrotter659 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As someone at an agency that doesn't require TS, but does require pretty extensive security-based background checks, I don't think it would make that much difference. My sense is that an agency is going to hire who they want to hire, and they're used to waiting for people to go through background checks. And presumably since you've had TS they'd be confident that you'd be able to get it again. (That said, I could well be missing something unique about TS versus other kinds of security clearance.)


This exactly. The private sector (read: gov contractors) cares because they don't want to shell out for an expensive security clearance process. For the government, it's just a cost of doing business. It certainly looks favorable that you have previously maintained a clearance though.


OP here. Thanks for the advice. I'll probably try to stay in the Guard as long as I can (not just for the clearance - I really enjoy the military work on the side) at the firm. If it becomes an issue or I figure it's just not feasible, then I'll have to re-think it. Also, I'm interested in joining one of the big contractors (BAH, Lockheed, etc.) in their legal office down the road (if the Fed doesn't seem to work out). Do you have experience in that?

Hey OP, I was in the same boat as you a while back. I am National Guard with a TS//SCI clearance. Right now I'm applying for DOJ position that requires the same clearance. Because the TS//SCI is with the National Guard, and thus DOD, the DOJ will do a whole new investigation and background check. Right now, OPM doesn't facilitate clearance transfers between departments. DOJ likes seeing that I have had a clearance so they are less worried about me failing the SSBI, but the fact that I have an active one is practically irrelevant, since they have too redo the investigation anyway.

That said, if by "Fed" you mean JAG or another DOD group, then your Guard clearance will be helpful. Lokheed and BAH also require DOD clearances and they will care a lot if you have an active DOD clearance, because they won't have to pay for it. Your clearance is good for five years from your SSBI, which generally means if you extend your contract one year (from the original six, because they wait one year to activate it) you'll have it for four years after you ETS. You can't do anything with it, but you don't need a new one during that time.

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote: Hey OP, I was in the same boat as you a while back. I am National Guard with a TS//SCI clearance. Right now I'm applying for DOJ position that requires the same clearance. Because the TS//SCI is with the National Guard, and thus DOD, the DOJ will do a whole new investigation and background check. Right now, OPM doesn't facilitate clearance transfers between departments. DOJ likes seeing that I have had a clearance so they are less worried about me failing the SSBI, but the fact that I have an active one is practically irrelevant, since they have too redo the investigation anyway.

That said, if by "Fed" you mean JAG or another DOD group, then your Guard clearance will be helpful. Lokheed and BAH also require DOD clearances and they will care a lot if you have an active DOD clearance, because they won't have to pay for it. Your clearance is good for five years from your SSBI, which generally means if you extend your contract one year (from the original six, because they wait one year to activate it) you'll have it for four years after you ETS. You can't do anything with it, but you don't need a new one during that time.


What sort of DOJ jobs would require TS//SCI? Would it be harder to get TS//SCI for DOJ vs. DOD or some other agency/group?

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Hey OP, I was in the same boat as you a while back. I am National Guard with a TS//SCI clearance. Right now I'm applying for DOJ position that requires the same clearance. Because the TS//SCI is with the National Guard, and thus DOD, the DOJ will do a whole new investigation and background check. Right now, OPM doesn't facilitate clearance transfers between departments. DOJ likes seeing that I have had a clearance so they are less worried about me failing the SSBI, but the fact that I have an active one is practically irrelevant, since they have too redo the investigation anyway.

That said, if by "Fed" you mean JAG or another DOD group, then your Guard clearance will be helpful. Lokheed and BAH also require DOD clearances and they will care a lot if you have an active DOD clearance, because they won't have to pay for it. Your clearance is good for five years from your SSBI, which generally means if you extend your contract one year (from the original six, because they wait one year to activate it) you'll have it for four years after you ETS. You can't do anything with it, but you don't need a new one during that time.


What sort of DOJ jobs would require TS//SCI? Would it be harder to get TS//SCI for DOJ vs. DOD or some other agency/group?


Not OP here, but my guess is NSD or FBI.

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby globetrotter659 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: Hey OP, I was in the same boat as you a while back. I am National Guard with a TS//SCI clearance. Right now I'm applying for DOJ position that requires the same clearance. Because the TS//SCI is with the National Guard, and thus DOD, the DOJ will do a whole new investigation and background check. Right now, OPM doesn't facilitate clearance transfers between departments. DOJ likes seeing that I have had a clearance so they are less worried about me failing the SSBI, but the fact that I have an active one is practically irrelevant, since they have too redo the investigation anyway.

That said, if by "Fed" you mean JAG or another DOD group, then your Guard clearance will be helpful. Lokheed and BAH also require DOD clearances and they will care a lot if you have an active DOD clearance, because they won't have to pay for it. Your clearance is good for five years from your SSBI, which generally means if you extend your contract one year (from the original six, because they wait one year to activate it) you'll have it for four years after you ETS. You can't do anything with it, but you don't need a new one during that time.


What sort of DOJ jobs would require TS//SCI? Would it be harder to get TS//SCI for DOJ vs. DOD or some other agency/group?


You would be surprised at the number of agencies that have at least a group of TS/SCI cleared people. Everyone has a bite of the national security pie.

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Re: Value of security clearance as attorney? Keep it?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:23 pm

This answers the question for federal agencies. Does anyone have any SA on whether the clearance would be particularly valuable for someone looking to go biglaw with a firm that includes defense contractors among their clients? Timing right now is such that it will be expiring just as I leave LS, and as I have non legal DoD acquisition experience the thought had occurred to me that it might be an additional point in favor of staying reserves through school.

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Postby FSK » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:33 pm

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