Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

(Issue areas, International Law, International Public Interest, Public Service in the private sector, Non-Profits, Public Interest Organizations, Government/ government agencies, employment settings)
Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:27 am

I know I’m jumping the gun since offers aren’t out. However, anyone know how strict non-doj agencies are about past drug use? Specifically within the past 6 months. Is it an auto-DQ?

The Lsat Airbender

Bronze
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:05 pm

What agency? What drug? Probably super bad news but who knows, you'd need to get lucky anyway for these spots.

Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:01 pm

Very much depends on the agency.

For AUSAs, post-bar drug use of marijuana can be a disqualifier. Happened to one of my co-workers. We live in a state where it is legal (but obviously not federally), and he didn't pass the background check.

TTTTgunner

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:05 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby TTTTgunner » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:11 am

While on the subject, what’s the general look-back period for drug use for these honor programs? (DOJ and Non-DOJ)?
Last edited by QContinuum on Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:54 am

Marijuana only, non-doj or AUSA.

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 6550
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:While on the subject, what’s the general look-back period for drug use for these honor programs? (DOJ and Non-DOJ)?


DOJ and AUSA go back 7 years, I believe.

Also, this is just a good reminder for any folks who know they're interested in government work: Just don't smoke pot. You'll live, and you'll save yourself a massive headache down the line.

JOThompson

Silver
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:16 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby JOThompson » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:59 pm

Seven years. There may be some jobs that require a TS or SCI clearance, and I think those go 10 years back for lifestyle issues.

You'll hear different answers about how recent is too recent for post-bar drug use. I've heard that any MJ use within the last seven years can be a dealbreaker. Other folks here have said anything within two years. It must depend on the office. I would not touch the stuff or be around it though starting now, too many headaches.
Last edited by QContinuum on Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:23 pm

What about 3L year? Pre-bar, but recent enough that it needs to be disclosed.

Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:58 pm

so for other honor program that do not require a security clearance, such as a DOL honors program, would not need a 7 year look back period? Would this be a better option to go for “non-DOJ” hp’s?

Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:22 am

Circling back again. Any thoughts on smoking MJ once in the past 12 months? Being honest in the app or mitigating factors? It’s all pre-bar as a first semester 3L

Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:30 pm

Beyond disclosing it yourself on the application, how would the background check reveal drug use dating back 7 years (assuming there is no record of it, such as a photo, video, court record, etc.)?

waffles7

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:28 pm

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby waffles7 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Be honest. You are more likely to be disqualified for lying than you are for doing marijuana. If you are doing a clearance process, they definitely find out because they interview many many people about you, and a common question asked is about whether the person has done drugs. I don't know about the other background processes, and if they go into as deep a dive for those. But to be frank, working in the government and becoming successful in the government, you potentially will have to get a clearance eventually. So if you lie on your initial background, it will put you in a tough spot when you apply for clearance later on. Which means, it's the best policy to be honest!

However, to note -

"Although the government generally wants law abiding citizens to work for them, they are most concerned with recent or current illegal activity and repeated use of hard narcotics, such as cocaine. The standards regarding past misdeeds are somewhat flexible. However, it appears to us that any illegal drug use, within one year of application, will disqualify an applicant. For the FBI, that period may be longer, three years for marijuana and ten years for hard drugs."

Anonymous User
Posts: 340208
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Drug use - Honors Attorney Programs

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Beyond disclosing it yourself on the application, how would the background check reveal drug use dating back 7 years (assuming there is no record of it, such as a photo, video, court record, etc.)?

Having gone through the DOJ check - they ask you if you used drugs in the last seven years, and you answer honestly because that’s what you’re affirming you’ll do.

More practically, you have to provide references of people who’ve known you in all the different places you lived during that time. Investigators talk to those people. You can’t guarantee those people will lie to federal investigators. The investigators can also talk to other people whose names you didn’t give them. That’s how they can find out. Will they find out every time you’ve used drugs? Probably not, but the risk of not disclosing is WAY higher than the risk of being honest.

(I know the OP asked about non-DOJ and I can’t say for certain what background check they require. But if it asks about drug use, that’s how they can find out.)



Return to “Public Interest & Government?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.