Security clearance attorneys?

Anyone used Edmunds or Bigley for assistance with SF86 completion? Is it a good idea to hire an attorney to help with preparation before submitting form?

IMO, no.

You need to fill out, complete, and submit the questionnaire under self-influence and self-understanding of the criteria within the questionnaire.

Too many people get their case delayed and/or into security troubles because they filled out the questionnaire based on how someone else advised, interpreted, or even filled out.

This is your background and your questionnaire and your responses should reflect your influence, 100%.

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On that point, I was asked during my subject interview if my FSO had influenced how I filled out the forms, which implies that there’s a rule against that.

It’s almost like you are expecting a denial before even filling out the forms.
Remember, at the end of the document, you are certifying YOUR answers to the questionnaire.

I’d suggest downloading a copy of the SF86, and filling that out ahead of time.
If you want more insight into the process, reading ‘SEAD 4 - Adjudicative guidelines’ might help.
You do not need to be a lawyer to understand what you are evaluated against, what may be the areas of concerns and how it could be mitigated.
And if you want examples on how some cases were judged, you can head to the DOHA website.


There is no problem with getting help. A lawyer might be expensive for that work.

We ask if someone helped you only to determine if there was someone in a position of trust (recruiter/FSO/security specialist, etc) told you to provide fraudulent information.

I have seen many people fill out the form very well. They read the questions literally and answer them literally. All employments and job locations (this include deployments) in the last ten years. All residences, to include temporary residences 90 days or more (this includes military TDYs and deployments) in the last ten years. All of the family members, whether you like them or not. All of your past marriages.

These are only difficult when Subjects try to analyze and twist (but I only worked there for a day before i was fired/quit…)

My advice is to be literal. Don’t leave anything blank (this is in the instructions btw) Make the effort to get the information. List the correct address and zip code. Be honest.


There are rules that state an incorrect or otherwise false statement can be mitigated if the subject was basically told to answer that way and the subject never intended to be deceptive.

Like others have said, you need to be fully honest and detailed by yourself when filling it out. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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Just so you know the DOHA website has not been working for days.

It’s really broken? I looked at it and thought maybe they were updating or changing the site.

Most people don’t need professional help with their SF86 unless there is potentially disqualifying information that needs to be mitigated to improve their chance of getting an interim clearance. If no disqualifying information exists or if there is no chance of receiving an interim clearance due to the disqualifying information, there’s usually little need to get professional help to fill out the SF86–mitigation can be offered at the Subject Interview. Just don’t dig yourself into a deeper hole than you’re already in.

DOHA had a problem migrating the website and data from one web host to another. They’re working on it and should have it fixed soon.

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There are several services out there that will help you complete the SF86 correctly as well as address any concerns / explain the process that may be cheaper than an attorney.

I’ve heard of,,, and I know there are others… just can’t think of them

Be sure to review each question carefully and answer each carefully. Most people are really only concerned with issue-related questions (drugs, alcohol, finance, etc.) but keep in mind filling out other sections incorrectly (especially missing info) can add weeks and months to your timeline.

Retired lawyer Sean M. Bigley, who was an expert in the security clearance process, has departed from the profession. As a result, any claims using his name are no longer valid.