For some employees in the cleared industry, the ability to get or maintain a security clearance comes at the cost of hiring a lawyer. Not everyone needs a lawyer, but for some candidates, this is their only way to get to work in national security. Some may need to hire a lawyer for major issues, but for others, a little bit of prevention can go a long way so that you don’t need to find a cure. 

Not Always Wise to Go it Alone without a Lawyer

Some scenarios are very clear that a lawyer is needed, but sometimes, clearance applicants think they can go at the process alone. However, for security clearance applicants with some questions about their background, engaging a lawyer when you’re filling out the SF-86 could be the deciding factor in moving your clearance through the process at a faster rate without receiving a Letter of Intent (LOI) or Statement of Reasons (SOR)

But even if you’re holding a LOI or SOR in your hands, it’s not too late to get an attorney involved. The key is finding the right one. 

Security Clearance Law is Niche

Because security clearance law is technical and niche, you do not want someone who is a jack of all trades type of lawyer. Now is not the time to get some help from your lawyer friend. This is the time to find someone with actual experience or knowledge of the investigation and adjudication process. A little less advertising and a lot more experience can get you your clearance and job. Bottom line? You need your security clearance lawyer to tell your story to the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) judge. It’s about creating the ‘whole person’ picture. So, whether your case just needs some more context or it needs actual facts, a security clearance lawyer is a key piece of the puzzle. 

And in that search for a lawyer, make sure that you maintain all of your documentation, as that will speed up the process. And don’t forget to bring your honesty and humility. If you’re holding a LOI or SOR, you need to be willing to ask for help, and you have to make sure you are telling your lawyer the entire story. No surprises for them in court. 

 

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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