Security Clearance & Polygraph

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For many federal employees and contractors, and certainly for members of the military, obtaining a security clearance is a prerequisite to obtaining and maintaining a job, particularly with agencies like CIA, NSA, NRO, and NGA; and the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, Justice, and Energy (among others, of course). Some positions require the additional requirement of “successfully completing a polygraph.”

Navigating the clearance process can be daunting and downright frightening. Most of the time, there are no issues. But issues do arise. As a result, hiring a security clearance attorney with years of experience not just in private practice, but having worked within the Federal Government, can mean the difference between being granted a security clearance or having it denied or revoked. Our firm stands out from the rest because our team is made up of noted subject-matter experts within the field.

Specifically, the prior Federal Government experience of Managing Partner Andrew P. Bakaj, a former CIA Officer and Federal investigator, as well as Partner I. Charles McCullough, III, the former Intelligence Community Inspector General appointed by President Obama, ensures that our clients receive the highest caliber counsel in the industry. 

We regularly represent clients who have had heir clearance denied, suspended, or revoked. The firm represents their interests in drafting a substantive response to the Statement of Reasons or Letter of Intent, as well as appear, as appropriate, before an Administrative Judge, Clearance Adjudication Facilities (CAFs), Offices of Security (OS), review boards, and administrative courts. Moreover, the firm provides expert guidance in preparing the SF-85 (public trust clearance) /SF-86 (security clearance) and pre-polygraph counseling.

Separately, for those individuals who are experiencing an adverse clearance action because of financial concerns should click here to learn more about the Compass Rose Financial Debt Recovery Program.

Finally, the firm also provides subject-matter expert guidance to companies seeking to obtain Facility Security Clearances under the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). Furthermore, we have experience in working with industry in assisting their employees work through the security clearance application and adjudication process.

Services include, but are not limited to:

Pre-Investigation Guidance

  • Expert advice in the SF-85 or SF-86 application process.
  • Polygraph counseling.

Intermediary Actions

  • Includes, but is not limited to, correspondence challenging derogatory information contained within JPAS or Scattered Castles.

Formal Response to the Statement of Reasons (SOR) or Letter of Intent (LOI)

  • Formal response to the Government’s recommendation to revoke a security clearance, which includes assembling all supporting evidence to be considered by the U.S. Government.
  • The formal response includes a detailed and legally sound response based upon the clearance adjudication guidelines and tailored to mitigate the government’s concerns.


  • Formal appeal to a decision to revoke a security clearance.
  • Representation includes the preparation of appellate briefs and appearing before the board at a hearing. This often occurs before the relevant Department or Agency Appeals Boards, such as at the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA).

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For employees who believe clearance actions have been taken in retaliation/reprisal because they made a protected disclosure (whistleblowing), please see our page on Whistleblower Representation.

Security Clearance Lawyers Association


Security Clearance Lawyers Association

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