DOJ Background Check for Summer Internship

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DOJ Background Check for Summer Internship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:27 pm

Here's my scenario: I'm applying to the DOJ for a 1L summer internship. I probably want to work in a regional office (e.g.: not DC). I've heard the DOJ background check will probably ask about illegal drug use in the past year. I used marijuana twice early last spring, when I was a senior in college. I'll probably have to indicate this on my security clearance form (if I get that far in the application process), unless I get really lucky and don't have to submit the security clearance form until mid-to-late spring. Of course I'll be completely honest; if I have to disclose, I will.

I'm wondering how the disclosure will effect my chances for a 1L summer internship at the DOJ. Does anyone know? Auto ding? Still a chance? Not at all, since it was only twice and was still in college?

If I apply to the DOJ, disclose, and get dinged, do you think this will bar me from working for the DOJ at some time in the future? Might I end up on some sort of permanent federal blacklist barring me from future federal employment?

How do you think my history will effect my chances at other federal agencies, such as the FTC or the EPA? How bout with federal or state judges, for judicial internships?

If it helps, here's my full history:
-Smoked weed twice last spring (it was spring of my senior year in college...).
-The only other time I've EVER done drugs was when I was 14 or 15 (freshman in high school), when I also smoked weed twice.

Sorry for the long post... as you may have guessed, I'm both pissed off at myself and nervous.

Anonymous User
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Re: DOJ Background Check for Summer Internship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:42 pm

I can tell you that I used to work for the U.S. Attorneys and had to fill this information out. To be safe, I put that I had never used drugs, without realizing that the next step in the process was that they bring out an investigator to personally interview you, some friends, former employers, parents, etc. before giving the OK for employment.

In the interview with this investigator, I admitted to having smoke marijuana before in my life -- which was contrary to what I had put down in the paperwork. I said that I had done it just to not raise any red flags, not wanting to cause any trouble since my drug use was a LONG time ago and VERY limited.

Long story short, the investigator didn't seem to care that much. In fact, I think she said that if I had continued to lie about it and then some info about drug use come out later on, that would be MORE of an issue (integrity/trust problems). I'm sure they see people who have EVER used drugs in their life all the time and it's not a HUGE concern (unless you want to work for the DEA or something).

So I would advise that you be entirely truthful, because the truth will probably come out someway somehow later on anyway.

Hope this helps.

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Re: DOJ Background Check for Summer Internship

Postby DavidYurman85 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:35 pm

My cousin admitted (on her background check for the White House) to using other "recreational" drugs. She was freaking out, but it was later confirmed-as another person noted-they really just want you to tell the truth. She ended up getting hired- you should be fine.

edit: --LinkRemoved--
Last edited by DavidYurman85 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DOJ Background Check for Summer Internship

Postby PublicInterest » Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:25 pm

My understanding from my summer at DOJ is that drug use in the past year or anytime after being admitted to the bar = possible ding. lying out it almost certainly will ding you.

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