Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

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Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:53 am

Hi, I’m a law student accepted to a gov honors program (externship) in the fall. The application asks about illegal drugs and I did in fact smoke 3 times and unfortunately take a prescription pill which wasn’t mine during 1L. Do I fess up and roll the dice or do I withdraw? I want to work for the government (DOJ) once I put 7 years between my drug use and I do not want that info out there if it’ll be a black mark down the road, especially if I’ll be auto DQ for the externship (SEC). Thanks!

RVG

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Re: Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby RVG » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:take a prescription pill which wasn’t mine during 1L.

Is there a reason why you think there's a chance that the dice will roll favorably?

Slippin' Jimmy

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Re: Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby Slippin' Jimmy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:29 am

Not going to say don't smoke the marijuanas but its really common knowledge that you shouldn't partake if you want to work for a Fed position anytime soon. I don't feel qualified to say you should definitely withdraw but smoking the reefer and working in a government honors program are unfortunately pretty much mutually exclusive.

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Re: Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:12 am

The issue with not disclosing is you'll need to keep up the lie every time you renew your clearance because they will look at all your past background check forms. It might be better to turn down the externship and wait for some time to pass, but I believe the DOJ isn't one of the more liberal agencies with these things, given their law enforcement role and everything.

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Re: Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:31 pm

This isn’t super constructive, but in case it’s any help: I just renewed my clearance for DOJ, and I can tell you straight from the investigator’s mouth that they don’t care (usually) what you’ve done, but that you’re honest about it. Not being willing to answer honestly makes you much less trustworthy to work with than someone who is. (I say “usually” because I’d imagine running a drug cartel or the like would also make you unsuitable, but I’m sure you get what I mean.)

This level drug use almost certainly would not be a problem for you for permanent employment down the road, even if within a period that you had to disclose. I honestly don’t know if it would be an issue for an externship this fall, though, or what the SEC’s take is.

Is there any source for assistance with the form? Like a central background check number or someone involved with the internship? I know this feels terribly awkward, and I’m not sure it’s the right option, but it might make sense to ask someone whether that level of drug use would lead to a denial of the background check. Some offices will tell someone who’s going to fail ahead of time and let them withdraw the app so there’s no failure on their record.

Even if you were denied the clearance now on the basis of that disclosure, I don’t think it would preclude you from applying/passing in the future. (Being found to have lied definitely would, but earlier honest disclosure shouldn't if that behavior is no longer a concern.) But again I can’t prove that for certain.

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Re: Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:05 pm

OP here. Sorry for the atrocious spelling. Yes this is all helpful, especially the last comment. I will take everything into consideration.

justanotherlurker

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Re: Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby justanotherlurker » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi, I’m a law student accepted to a gov honors program (externship) in the fall. The application asks about illegal drugs and I did in fact smoke 3 times and unfortunately take a prescription pill which wasn’t mine during 1L. Do I fess up and roll the dice or do I withdraw? I want to work for the government (DOJ) once I put 7 years between my drug use and I do not want that info out there if it’ll be a black mark down the road, especially if I’ll be auto DQ for the externship (SEC). Thanks!


Some minor drug use done before being admitted to the bar is usually excusable. E.g., I know of someone who had minor encounters with weed in college; wrote a letter, was employed.
Perjury -- i.e., lying on a sworn document to the government -- is not excusable. If you have any aspirations of working as a government lawyer, do not lie to the government.
Just fess up, be honest and contrite, and should be OK. And, really, don't do it again going forward if you ever want to work as a fed gov lawyer.

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Re: Help! Do I dial close drug use or withdraw application

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:15 pm

OP here again. Just to clear the confusion: lying was never an option. I was asking about whether to disclose or decline the position. I know I'll have probably have to check off some box about illegal drugs at some point, but I want as little information as possible out there; especially if moving forward and disclosing would be an Auto-DQ.



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