One of the main concerns for attorneys pursuing governmental work is the possibility of the background check. In general, most of us-we hope-have no deep dark secrets that might be brought to light during these checks. However, it's admittedly a bit intimidating to know that some government agency is out there digging up information on you. Here we'll try to debunk and demystify the elements of a governmental background check, give you particulars on what you might expect, and how to prepare yourself…and your acquaintances.
Background checks have been standard procedures for many government positions throughout the years. However, since the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, and other subsequent events, these background investigations have become much more particular and thorough. Below is a basic list of what might be investigated. Of course, the background check and the personal information being researched may vary dramatically, depending on the agency you are applying to, as well as the security distinction attached to your position. For example, a position in the State Department may require a more intense background investigation, as opposed to a district attorney position, because you may be dealing with classified government documents and security issues. We will discuss this a little later.
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