Worth paying attonery to review Sf-86 or wait till SOR?

Hi, I received a tentative offer for a job that with this type of security clearance:

"“This position is designated Non-critical Sensitive. Occupants of Non-critical Sensitive positions must have an Access National Agency Check with written Inquiries (ANACI) conducted by the Office of Personnel Management”

Now, back in December of 2018 I left my job at a previous agency unfavorably due to conflict of interest. My access to laptop was cutoff, and then I voluntary resigned two days later.

I voluntarily resigned and looking at my SF-50 action code 317 and regulation law, there is no adverse action code. It simply says “resignation”.

and for remarks: it says " employee is seeking opportunities outside of the federal govt".

ANyway, I have a copy of my BI and plan to fully explain everything on the SF85/86.

I talked to two security clearance attorneys (Barry Legal in Wash DC and Bigley Ranish) and they are quoting about $1,000 for a “pre-check on the SF 85 or 86”.

  1. Is that worth it? Or should I just do it myself and then hire the attorney to write the SOR rebuttal.

I feel that I will get denied regardless what I put on the SF86 and I should save my $$$ for the SOR representation instead.

  1. If this is the case…on my Sf-86 when I need to write why I left unfavorably …what kind of “language” should I use…just lay all the cards on the table? any words to avoid using? IDK if I’m making sense here.

thank you.

1 Like

you will not get an SOR for this.

Oh, then what will happen or what are my options?

No need for wasting money. They can’t do anything for you!!! When you are interviewed by investigator for clearance you merely tell you Truth. End of story. And good luck to you.

Ok, from other posts, Bigley seems to have a good track record.

Then when is an SOR issued?

I can only speak to the experience I recently had with Bigley. He’s very knowledgeable, responsive, and has been spot on in relation to what I should expect throughout the process. I recently won my DOHA case, and I can say with honesty, that he played a big part in it.

A few mistakes I made in the beginning was due to my explanation and the verbiage I used. If I had hired someone to help me, maybe I would not have received the SOR, and possibly made it easier forban adjudicator to grant me my clearance. That’s not to say that you should hire an attorney, I’m just saying if you believe it may help you due to your circumstances, maybe it is worth it to hire an attorney from the beginning so that the Adjudicator has a full picture of the situation.

For this question on eQIP:

For this employment, in the last seven (7) years have you received a written warning, been officially reprimanded, suspended, or disciplined for misconduct in the workplace, such as a violation of security policy?

At USDA, I was taken off my regular duties and put on a reading assignment with pay while they looked into some things. But not official. No paperwork or anything. Nothing official. There was no security violation. No suspension.

So i’m putting NO.

Now at FEMA, b/c what happened at USDA. I was suspended without pay. And given a Memo saying Public Trust was denied. So for that I’m putting YES.

As for security violation, do they mean security clearance? ( I filled out an S85P for FEMA and USDA) or as in I left my laptop open at night? But, I never had a security clearance.

Your SF-50 says you resigned and you did. NO ONE knows when an SOR will be initiated except DoD CAF as they adjudicate. SOR is an intent to deny and they tell you exactly what they want from you. Save your money! Heck, I’ll proof your 86 for half that and I promise you I know more about the process than an Attorney lol…

Don’t waste your money, you can do SOR on your own. I did it and was successful.

That’s true, you can do the initial response on your own, and many are successful. But others decide to hire a lawyer. If it gets turned down again, and you have the opportunity to appeal, then a lawyer is probably essential.

Look. If they ask if you did “something” or had something happen to you, you tell the truth; official or not, as that is integrity. Then you make a note in comment section about wanting to discuss details.


So in May, I received a tentative offer.

Late June, I did the interview. After, that, a couple of days, he contacted my references. IDK if he contacted my former managers yet from USDA and FEMA.

then nothing.

Then on August 10th, HR calls me and says I was granted a security waiver and interim clearance?

Why would they do this if I received a public trust denial from FEMA b/c of what happened at the USDA?

I had Bigley law firm help me with the SF86 and laid out everything during the interview back in late June. Surprisingly the interview itself was only 40 minutes long. I really was expecting it to be longer.

HR wants me to onboard on Sept 14th , then get my laptop and badge.

First I was excited, but, I’m having 2nd thoughts.

Should i onboard now?

HR said the investigation is still not complete.

I don’t want to come onboard and then a month or two later be terminated with them saying your final clearance did not come thru. (Again, not sure if they interviewed my former USDA and FEMA supervisors yet)

My plan is to tell HR I would rather wait until I’m officially granted a clearance (or not).

Any advice. Thanks you!

If you need to leave one job with a guaranteed paycheck to onboard then loose the new job due to clearance issues you may want to hold off on transitioning to the new position.

Are your issues of such a true concern to think the clearance would be denied? There are many situations where clearances were granted with heavy duty issues involved.

You also may have some options to repeal the adjudication if a denial happens.

If you are unemployed right now - take the new job!

“Clearance lawyers” gotta be the biggest scam around. It’s very different from the justice system. They just prey on people’s fear of the government. If you take the time to respond to a SOR with detail and points you don’t need one.

Sean M. Bigley, a retired lawyer with extensive knowledge in the security clearance process, is no longer practicing law. Therefore, any assertions using his name are no longer valid.