Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

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Anonymous User
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Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:59 am

Hey all. I'm going to be applying to a few judges on the 3d Circuit coming up here in the next few months, plus some W.D.Pa., along with some other places.

My question is this: a bunch of my friends from undergrad are going to be meeting up in Denver over Easter weekend (one of them lives there), which this year is...Sunday, April 20. So, if I go, I'll be spending 4/20 in Colorado. Some of them will definitely be smoking. Others, including one of my buddies from undergrad, now a year behind me (1L) at the same law school, and who will also be applying for clerkships next year, will be there, but not smoking, either because it's just not their thing, or (as in the case of my 1L friend) smoking would complicate their job prospects. I definitely would not be partaking.

I'd like to go, but I'm still uneasy. My 1L friend tells me that I have nothing to worry about - that any background check or security clearance I may have to go through would only ask what I have done - they don't care who I've been around. Would this complicate anything in that regard?

I'm also worried about secondhand smoke and maybe failing a drug test. Do clerks have to take drug tests? If so, when is that administered? I wouldn't be in a confined space with people or anything - they'd probably do it outside, honestly. And the judges I'm targeting look like they're going to move in May or June. My friend says that 1) any secondhand smoke in a non-confined environment isn't enough to register on a drug test to begin with, and 2) that any chemicals in my system would be gone in a matter of days (I've got a pretty good metabolism).

It's a pretty rare opportunity. I haven't seen these guys since undergrad graduation, and I'd like to go, but I'm not willing to put my clerkship prospects at all at risk. Do I have anything to worry about?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:17 am

I can't guarantee this is the case for every judge/district/circuit, but I was neither drug tested nor asked about drug use in any way for my federal clerkship. You don't really undergo a background check (or at least, I didn't). I have been drug tested/asked about drug use for other federal government background checks, and yes, you're only asked about what you've done, not what anyone you know has done.

owlofminerva
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Re: Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

Postby owlofminerva » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:11 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I can't guarantee this is the case for every judge/district/circuit, but I was neither drug tested nor asked about drug use in any way for my federal clerkship. You don't really undergo a background check (or at least, I didn't). I have been drug tested/asked about drug use for other federal government background checks, and yes, you're only asked about what you've done, not what anyone you know has done.


+1

I was asked on some form about drug use, but it only cares about what you've done. You don't really go through an interview or drug tested in the clerkship process.

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Re: Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:35 am

owlofminerva wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I can't guarantee this is the case for every judge/district/circuit, but I was neither drug tested nor asked about drug use in any way for my federal clerkship. You don't really undergo a background check (or at least, I didn't). I have been drug tested/asked about drug use for other federal government background checks, and yes, you're only asked about what you've done, not what anyone you know has done.


+1

I was asked on some form about drug use, but it only cares about what you've done. You don't really go through an interview or drug tested in the clerkship process.


Was this for a clerkship? i.e. For your current clerkship, you had to complete some form pertaining to drug use? If so, that's interesting. I'm a current federal clerk and got no question of the sort (in fact, no background check at all). I'm surprised to hear other courts do this.

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Re: Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:51 am

Interned a couple of times a two different federal district courts, at a federal agency, and currently clerking at a federal court. They have basically an identical background check process across all the federal places I worked at. I did fill out background forms but never been asked to take a drug test. Also on the forms, it asked if I had been arrested bla bla, it never asked if I actually did drugs or whatnot. The most intensive one was the agency who also asked that I submit my finger prints, but they dealt with the financial sector so that was understandable. In other words, dude relax and go have fun. Nobody is going to ask if you were around people who smoke Weed. Even if they did, no one in their right mind will hold that against you, especially in a place where it is legal. It will all be legal soon relax bud!

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Re: Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:13 pm

I did a fair amount of research on background checks when I applied to several federal agencies. Like you I am cautious about putting myself in a situation that would limit my job prospects. The only agency I have seen ask about what your friends do is the CIA. Their application specifically says that once you submit your application you must leave any environment where illegal drugs are being using. Being around drugs and pirating media seem to be automatic disqualifiers for them if you continue to partake after you submit your materials. I have not seen this question come up on my search for other federal agencies. Google "SF 86" and you can find the standard form you have to fill out to receive a top secret clearance.

Anonymous User
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Re: Judicial Clerkships and Friends Who Smoke Marijuana

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:42 am

I have never heard of any judge drug testing. They may be out there, but it seems unlikely. Likewise, it seems extremely unlikely any judge would care if you were around it. I'm sure there are some out there who are very uptight and old school, but it seems almost certain this could not affect you in any meaningful way. Moreover, how could they ever find out about such an intimate detail of your personal life?

I'm clerking and I know for a fact that not one of the judges here even so much as asks about it. We had to undergo a criminal background check, but that's it.




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