You Need A Security Clearance – Now What?

If you have recently received a provisional offer of employment from a federal employer or a government contractor, and you are in need of a security clearance, you may have any number of questions about how to handle your “next steps.” Thankfully, you do not have to navigate this complex and consequential process on your own. Our experienced legal team has extensive experience managing every aspect of the security clearance application process, and we are available to assist you.

Working with a knowledgeable attorney at the start of the security clearance application process is a proactive approach that you will almost certainly thank yourself for later. All too often, security clearance applicants fail to seek legal guidance until their security clearance application has been denied and they need to appeal that decision or resubmit their application. Oftentimes, once an applicant hits this roadblock, their offer of employment has been rescinded and they are scrambling for work. Instead of setting yourself up to panic down the road, work with a trusted attorney from the start and place yourself in the best possible position to navigate this process efficiently and effectively “from the go.”

Security Clearance Paperwork

Because having a security clearance allows an individual to have access to sensitive government information and/or assets, not everyone is considered eligible to receive a security clearance. The government only grants a security clearance to individuals who are considered to be trustworthy enough, stable enough, and loyal enough to be trusted with this access. As a result, the security clearance application process is very involved, highly personal, time-intensive, and involves scrutiny of an applicant’s character, background, and general fitness to hold a security clearance.

The first part of the security clearance application process involves filling out a lot of paperwork. You will be asked to complete a Personnel Security Questionnaire. This may be done with a printed form, called the Standard Form (SF) 86. Or, more likely, it will involve answering questions online, using the Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing, or e-QIP.  While this seems like a relatively straightforward task, it is not. If you fail to provide certain information, if you fail to fully disclose certain information, if you do not tell the whole truth about a matter, or if you do not properly support your application with evidence, your request for a security clearance could be denied.

This is one of the many reasons why working with an attorney, at the start of the security clearance application process, is often so beneficial. Our team is in a position to advise you about all aspects of your application—from what you should say to how you should say it and how to provide supporting evidence that will support your claims.

Security Clearance Process

Another reason why it is important to connect with our team, at the start of the application process, is that we can prepare you for any interviews that may be required. We can also advise you as to how those who are investigating your case will go about interviewing those who know you well. You may be understandably anxious about having your friends, former teachers, former colleagues interviewed. We can help you to know what to expect.

What you will want to keep at the forefront of your mind, throughout your application process, is that the government is primarily concerned with assessing whether you are reliable enough, trustworthy enough, stable enough, and loyal enough to be trusted with access to sensitive information and assets. If you take your eye off of this end goal, you could make potentially costly missteps in how you approach reporting information, speaking about your background, or responding to questions.  By keeping this end goal in mind, you will be better positioned to convince investigators that you are someone to be trusted.

Contact An Experienced Security Clearance Attorney Today For Assistance

If you have recently learned that you will need to obtain security clearance for a new position, it is important that you connect with the trusted legal team at Avery Dooley & Noone, LLP, sooner rather than later. We have in-depth knowledge of every aspect of the security clearance process, and we can assist you with navigating through it as efficiently and effectively as possible. Because this situation is high-stakes, it is critical that you approach it as proactively as you can. Call us at (617) 489-5300 or contact us online today to learn more about how to prepare for this process and how to navigate it successfully. We look forward to speaking with you.