Obtaining a security clearance can up open up a number of doors for a civilian contractor. Once you have a clearance, your marketability becomes much greater in the government-sector job market. Many high paying positions with employers like Lockheed Martin and Boeing require security clearances and these companies spend thousands of dollars putting their employees through the clearance process. The process isn’t an easy one and many applicants for a security clearance don’t take the process seriously. Receiving a Statement of Reasons is usually the first sign that they misjudged the process.
As a former attorney for the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) and now as a private practice attorney, I’ve been on both sides of the aisle during the security clearance process. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make when they begin the security clearance process is trying to represent themselves after they have been issued a Statement of Reasons (SOR), a summary of the reasons uncovered during the investigation why you may not be suitable for a security clearance. Once a Statement of Reasons has been issued, the process to deny your clearance has begun and without proper legal representation often times people end up getting denied because they didn’t mitigate the government’s concerns in their response. The government will have an attorney whose job is to highlight the reasons why you should not be granted a security clearance and they are very good at their job. They are not there to help you with your case and many people are surprised at how adversarial the process can be.
Hiring an attorney to help you through the process can save you a significant amount of time and headaches later on. You only have one chance to resolve the concerns about your eligibility for a security clearance and trying to respond on your own often leads to a denial. When I worked for the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals, I was shocked at the number of applicants who attended hearings on their own or attempted to respond with a written response without any legal representation. This is your one shot to resolve the issues that have been brought in the Statement of Reasons and you do not want to fight this battle alone. Our firm has represented numerous clients with security clearance issues and we know what it takes to resolve and mitigate issues that come up in security clearance investigations. We have helped many of our clients with significant security concerns resolve those issues and obtain their clearance after providing a detailed written response or appearing at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge with our representation. Your job will often times depend on your ability to obtain a clearance, so taking the time to research your options and having an attorney guide you through the process is your best bet at a successful result.
If you have been issued a Statement of Reasons or have any questions related to the security clearance process please give our firm a call as we have attorneys who specialize in this area and can help answer any questions about what you need to do to resolve any issues. Don’t try and go it alone. You need an experienced attorney by your side in order to give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome.