US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

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US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:38 am

I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby kyle1978 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


One, it's a background investigation not a security clearance. Two, don't apply if you have to lie on a SF form. It's a federal felony.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby sparkytrainer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:46 am

So you want to work for a US Attorney's office being run at the top level by a guy who hates weed more than the KKK and think its cool to smoke? Good luck!

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:47 am

kyle1978 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


One, it's a background investigation not a security clearance. Two, don't apply if you have to lie on a SF form. It's a federal felony.

Website says security clearance, and I'm not going to lie on an application. But, I am wondering if it is worth to submit an application with drug use history, or if it's an automatic denial.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby kyle1978 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:53 am

Anonymous User wrote:
kyle1978 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


One, it's a background investigation not a security clearance. Two, don't apply if you have to lie on a SF form. It's a federal felony.

Website says security clearance, and I'm not going to lie on an application. But, I am wondering if it is worth to submit an application with drug use history, or if it's an automatic denial.


First, it is not a security clearance, no matter what the website indicates. You stated that the website asks whether you've used drugs in the past year. This is an SF-85 or SF-85P form, not an SF-86 form. Only SF-86 forms may be used for security clearances and it asks whether you've used drugs in the past 7 years, not 1 year. Also, even if you fill out of a SF-86 form, it does not necessarily mean you will have a security clearance. Rather, it's a Tier5 background investigation that would permit you to become eligible for access to classified information based on your need to know.

Second, do you want a permanent federal employment record detailing how often you smoke marijuana? Would you report all of these violations of Federal law to your board of bar examiners?

My suggestion is that you stop smoking marijuana for the next 7 years if you have an interest in becoming an AUSA. Smoking marijuana "a few times a week" at the age of 22+ is more than light, recreational use. You will not be hired. If you do not have an interest in becoming an AUSA, then don't apply for this internship.

Sorry if this is harsh, just trying to be factual.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:09 pm

kyle1978 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
kyle1978 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


One, it's a background investigation not a security clearance. Two, don't apply if you have to lie on a SF form. It's a federal felony.

Website says security clearance, and I'm not going to lie on an application. But, I am wondering if it is worth to submit an application with drug use history, or if it's an automatic denial.


First, it is not a security clearance, no matter what the website indicates. You stated that the website asks whether you've used drugs in the past year. This is an SF-85 or SF-85P form, not an SF-86 form. Only SF-86 forms may be used for security clearances and it asks whether you've used drugs in the past 7 years, not 1 year. Also, even if you fill out of a SF-86 form, it does not necessarily mean you will have a security clearance. Rather, it's a Tier5 background investigation that would permit you to become eligible for access to classified information based on your need to know.

Second, do you want a permanent federal employment record detailing how often you smoke marijuana? Would you report all of these violations of Federal law to your board of bar examiners?

My suggestion is that you stop smoking marijuana for the next 7 years if you have an interest in becoming an AUSA. Smoking marijuana "a few times a week" at the age of 22+ is more than light, recreational use. You will not be hired. If you do not have an interest in becoming an AUSA, then don't apply for this internship.

Sorry if this is harsh, just trying to be factual.


No, that's completely fair and what I came here for. Thanks!

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


lol, admit to a crime and send to U.S. Attorney's Office. Brilliant!

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:28 pm

I know a kid who got an offer for EDNY or SDNY USAO but then got rescinded after he admitted he smoked MJ before. so either dont apply or just lie on the application

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I know a kid who got an offer for EDNY or SDNY USAO but then got rescinded after he admitted he smoked MJ before. so either dont apply or just lie on the application

yeah, but don't lie on the application.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Hildegard15 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:28 pm

I worked at the US Attorney's Office in my home state last summer and had to submit a drug test. I heard from other people working at USAOs in different states that they didn't have to do a drug test, but there was no way of knowing in advance. I randomly got a phone call from DC telling me to go to the nearest medical center months after I'd accepted the job offer.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:07 pm

FWIW, I also had a 1L internship at a USAO and was never required to take a drug test.

At my office, my understanding is that marijuana use in the past year would have been disqualifying. We were asked about drug use in the past 7 years, but offers were given to people who disclosed marijuana use that was within the past 7 years (but did not occur in the year prior to the internship). I think the "year" is tolled from the start date of the internship, rather than the date of application, but I'm not 100% sure.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby sparty99 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


Dude. Unless people see you smoking week, apply for the damn job. Jesus.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby UVA2B » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:33 pm

sparty99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


Dude. Unless people see you smoking week, apply for the damn job. Jesus.


This is weirdly aggressive. Applying to federal agencies is not a one off application like it would be for a law firm. If you apply to a USAO office, and you decide to hide drug use on the application that is subsequently found through background check, it will taint that application as well as any applications you have to future federal government positions.

OP, if you're willing to give up the weed because you're interested in federal government work in the long-term, you should apply. But you shouldn't cover up your prior marijuana use in your application and background check. Disclosed use of marijuana may be forgiven, but undisclosed use that is subsequently discovered will end badly. And it could affect any future employment in the federal government because that sort of thing follows you.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am

sparty99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


Dude. Unless people see you smoking week, apply for the damn job. Jesus.

You need to stop yelling at people in the on-topics.

Also, someone who smokes a few times a week probably has had people seen them smoking weed.

(It's also true that this stuff follows you around - the info you give when you first apply to something with DOJ will follow you through to any other applications with DOJ.)

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby rpupkin » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:35 am

kyle1978 wrote:Second, do you want a permanent federal employment record detailing how often you smoke marijuana? Would you report all of these violations of Federal law to your board of bar examiners?

My suggestion is that you stop smoking marijuana for the next 7 years if you have an interest in becoming an AUSA. Smoking marijuana "a few times a week" at the age of 22+ is more than light, recreational use. You will not be hired. If you do not have an interest in becoming an AUSA, then don't apply for this internship.

Sorry if this is harsh, just trying to be factual.

Try harder. First, does SF-85 now require you to disclose how often you smoked marijuana? It didn't used to. OP would have to truthfully answer that he smoked marijuana in the past year, but I don't think he has to state that he smoked marijuana several times a week.

Your rhetorical "board of bar examiners" question is silly. At least in my state, there is no requirement to disclose marijuana use to the bar examiners. Nor is there a requirement to disclose hypothetical "violations of federal law" for which you were not convicted, charged, arrested, or investigated.

As for your suggestion "to stop smoking marijuana for the next 7 years if you have an interest in becoming an AUSA," I'll just note that I'm friends with two AUSAs who smoked marijuana within the seven years prior to the submissions of their successful applications. I agree that OP should stop the illegal drug use if he wants to become an AUSA, but I'm not sure that 7 years of abstinence is the prerequisite you seem to believe it is.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:53 am

I mostly agree with the above, but FWIW, the question on the SF-85 is:
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, heroin, morphine, codeine, etc.), stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines, etc.), depressants (barbituates, methaqualone, tranquilizers, etc.), hallucinogenics (LSD, PCP, etc.). Note: neither your truthful response nor information derived from your response will be used as evidence against you in any subsequent criminal proceeding.)

If you answered "Yes," provide information relating to the types of substance(s), the nature of the activity, and any other details relating to your involvement with illegal drugs. Include any treatment or counseling received.

So that pretty much seems to me to require reporting how often you smoke marijuana.

(As an AUSA, though, I was told that only post-bar drug use was a per se bar.)

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby sparty99 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:12 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
sparty99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


Dude. Unless people see you smoking week, apply for the damn job. Jesus.

You need to stop yelling at people in the on-topics.

Also, someone who smokes a few times a week probably has had people seen them smoking weed.

(It's also true that this stuff follows you around - the info you give when you first apply to something with DOJ will follow you through to any other applications with DOJ.)


This is really dumb. I know people who smoke weed on their app and they said they didn't and now they work for the US Attorney's Office. Such a shame if they would have told the truth for something so insignificant. If there are no photographs or videos, then the answer is you didn't smoke. All these white-shoe snowflakes out here who don't know how to play the game. Do you see who is our President?

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:31 am

sparty99 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
sparty99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


Dude. Unless people see you smoking week, apply for the damn job. Jesus.

You need to stop yelling at people in the on-topics.

Also, someone who smokes a few times a week probably has had people seen them smoking weed.

(It's also true that this stuff follows you around - the info you give when you first apply to something with DOJ will follow you through to any other applications with DOJ.)


This is really dumb. I know people who smoke weed on their app and they said they didn't and now they work for the US Attorney's Office. Such a shame if they would have told the truth for something so insignificant. If there are no photographs or videos, then the answer is you didn't smoke. All these white-shoe snowflakes out here who don't know how to play the game. Do you see who is our President?

You really need to chill, dude. First you said "unless people see you," now you're saying "photographs or videos" - make up your mind. Keep in mind, too, that DOJ does actually go round and interview people from your past about you, including about your drug use, so if someone smokes a few times a week DOJ probably won't have a hard time finding someone who will say that about them. Then that person's never getting a USAO job.

I do, personally, think it's stupid to lie on a federal application, but if that's what you want to do, and the president somehow makes you feel better about it, you do you.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby sparty99 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:27 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
sparty99 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
sparty99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


Dude. Unless people see you smoking week, apply for the damn job. Jesus.

You need to stop yelling at people in the on-topics.

Also, someone who smokes a few times a week probably has had people seen them smoking weed.

(It's also true that this stuff follows you around - the info you give when you first apply to something with DOJ will follow you through to any other applications with DOJ.)


This is really dumb. I know people who smoke weed on their app and they said they didn't and now they work for the US Attorney's Office. Such a shame if they would have told the truth for something so insignificant. If there are no photographs or videos, then the answer is you didn't smoke. All these white-shoe snowflakes out here who don't know how to play the game. Do you see who is our President?

You really need to chill, dude. First you said "unless people see you," now you're saying "photographs or videos" - make up your mind. Keep in mind, too, that DOJ does actually go round and interview people from your past about you, including about your drug use, so if someone smokes a few times a week DOJ probably won't have a hard time finding someone who will say that about them. Then that person's never getting a USAO job.

I do, personally, think it's stupid to lie on a federal application, but if that's what you want to do, and the president somehow makes you feel better about it, you do you.


If there are photographs and videos then there is proof. If its just one or three people's statement, oh well. Where's the proof? They could say you smoked even if you didn't. But anyway, you are making this a bigger deal then it is. The federal government is a large organization. Not everyone who works there is drug free now or was drug free prior to applying. The summer job 1L job isn't even paid and the screening process isn't always the same as it is for full time positions. OP, all you need to ask yourself is if you smoked weed then where is the proof that you smoked weed. A lot of people do things in their own homes, but don't mean you need to come clean about it if it won't work in your favor and cant be shown otherwise.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:38 am

sparty99 wrote:If there are photographs and videos then there is proof. If its just one or three people's statement, oh well. Where's the proof?


Tell us how well this argument plays in your USAO job application evidentiary hearing

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:47 am

beepboopbeep wrote:
sparty99 wrote:If there are photographs and videos then there is proof. If its just one or three people's statement, oh well. Where's the proof?


Tell us how well this argument plays in your USAO job application evidentiary hearing

:lol: this was pretty much exactly what I was going to say. There’s no burden of proof here, if the USAO has concerns they can just reject you, they don’t owe you a job. (Also people’s statements pretty much count as proof in most legal proceedings I’m aware of?)

I’m sure there are plenty of people in the government writ large who smoke, but the OP’s talking specifically about USAOs.

OP, in part my concern is just that if you smoke a few times a week it seems likely there’s more of a chance they will find out than, say, with someone who experimented with stuff once or twice. Lying and being found out is always way worse than disclosing.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby rpupkin » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:58 am

sparty99 wrote:If there are photographs and videos then there is proof. If its just one or three people's statement, oh well. Where's the proof?

Are you even a lawyer? You realize that a person's statement can be evidence, right? Even if the USAO hiring process took the form of an adjudicatory hearing (which of course it does not), your instincts about "proof" would be wrong.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby kyle1978 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:09 am

rpupkin wrote:
kyle1978 wrote:Second, do you want a permanent federal employment record detailing how often you smoke marijuana? Would you report all of these violations of Federal law to your board of bar examiners?

My suggestion is that you stop smoking marijuana for the next 7 years if you have an interest in becoming an AUSA. Smoking marijuana "a few times a week" at the age of 22+ is more than light, recreational use. You will not be hired. If you do not have an interest in becoming an AUSA, then don't apply for this internship.

Sorry if this is harsh, just trying to be factual.

Try harder. First, does SF-85 now require you to disclose how often you smoked marijuana? It didn't used to. OP would have to truthfully answer that he smoked marijuana in the past year, but I don't think he has to state that he smoked marijuana several times a week.

Your rhetorical "board of bar examiners" question is silly. At least in my state, there is no requirement to disclose marijuana use to the bar examiners. Nor is there a requirement to disclose hypothetical "violations of federal law" for which you were not convicted, charged, arrested, or investigated.

As for your suggestion "to stop smoking marijuana for the next 7 years if you have an interest in becoming an AUSA," I'll just note that I'm friends with two AUSAs who smoked marijuana within the seven years prior to the submissions of their successful applications. I agree that OP should stop the illegal drug use if he wants to become an AUSA, but I'm not sure that 7 years of abstinence is the prerequisite you seem to believe it is.


First, yes you are required to disclose how often you’ve smoked marijuana or used other drugs.

Second, my board asked about undiscovered violations of law and it is not unreasonable for them to do so.

Third, I guess it’s cool that you know AUSAs that have smoked pot within 7 years but, with respect to the OP who smoked sometime this week, what is your point?

You don’t seem to know what you’re talking about so you should stay out of the discussion.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby rpupkin » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:46 pm

kyle1978 wrote:You don’t seem to know what you’re talking about so you should stay out of the discussion.

You're not a mod; I'm not going to stop posting just because you don't like me pointing out your misleading statements and exaggerations. Speaking of which, you doubled down on your insinuation that OP is jeopardizing his chances of gaining admission to his state's bar. If you're going to support that position with a sentence like "my board asked about undiscovered violations of law and it is not unreasonable for them to do so," you probably shouldn't accuse others of not knowing what they're talking about.

Also, the "point" of the pot-smoking AUSA anecdotes was—as I said in my post—to call into question your suggestion that OP must abstain from smoking for seven years before applying to be an AUSA. That doesn't appear to be the rule, as an actual AUSA in this thread pointed out.

Look, I don't doubt that you have some knowledge about the USAO application process. And I agree with you that OP should cut out (or at least significantly cut down) his pot smoking if a job at the USAO is in his long-term sights. But when marijuana use is at issue, some people struggle to describe its risks without hyperbole or exaggeration. You seem to be one of those people.

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Re: US Attorney's Office 1L Job - Drug Use

Postby claptrap » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:30 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
sparty99 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
sparty99 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am interested in working for a US Attorney's Office in my home flyover state this summer. However, I just read the application requirements and it states if I have used drugs in the past year then I will not be eligible for a security clearance. I smoke weed a few times a week. Should I even bother applying?


Dude. Unless people see you smoking week, apply for the damn job. Jesus.

You need to stop yelling at people in the on-topics.

Also, someone who smokes a few times a week probably has had people seen them smoking weed.

(It's also true that this stuff follows you around - the info you give when you first apply to something with DOJ will follow you through to any other applications with DOJ.)


This is really dumb. I know people who smoke weed on their app and they said they didn't and now they work for the US Attorney's Office. Such a shame if they would have told the truth for something so insignificant. If there are no photographs or videos, then the answer is you didn't smoke. All these white-shoe snowflakes out here who don't know how to play the game. Do you see who is our President?

You really need to chill, dude. First you said "unless people see you," now you're saying "photographs or videos" - make up your mind. Keep in mind, too, that DOJ does actually go round and interview people from your past about you, including about your drug use, so if someone smokes a few times a week DOJ probably won't have a hard time finding someone who will say that about them. Then that person's never getting a USAO job.

I do, personally, think it's stupid to lie on a federal application, but if that's what you want to do, and the president somehow makes you feel better about it, you do you.


This isn't strictly relevant to OP's question, but for his/her future reference I felt the need to point out that if s/he does decide to apply to become an AUSA down the road, the SF-86 investigation will involve an investigator branching out from the names provided by the OP on their application and interviewing other people provided to them by the SF-86 contacts.

In other words, you can't really control who the investigator will be speaking to once the investigation starts. So if you are smoking a few times a week it seems exceedingly likely to me that the investigator will stumble across someone who will mention this.

What I don't know is whether the SF-86 is required for ALL AUSAs, or if it is just required for the ones that need higher security clearances due to the subject matter of their cases.

Anyway, to reiterate what others have said, whether you apply is definitely a judgment call on your part, but whatever you do, DO NOT LIE ON YOUR APPLICATION. Even if the drug use forecloses the job now, the only way you can risk effectively disqualifying yourself for life (and potentially risking your license as a function of a subsequent criminal prosecution) is by lying.

The people who are telling you to lie are giving you terrible advice. Please do not follow it.

Best of luck to you!



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