Thursday, February 4, 2010
Help Wanted: Retarded Lawyers – apply within
What a day of surprises. As usual, my day marched me past some of the best minds and writers in the blogosphere which of course, includes The Volokh Conspiracy. I find that a blog roll peopled by a strong percentage of law professors offers an intelligent and widely diverse offering of subject matter. By the nature of their profession they are accustomed to gathering facts, anticipating objections, and advocating their positions with passion. I don’t always agree with their conclusions on issues but I find them almost universally entertaining and enlightening. In search of material for this post I came across a picture of one of my favorites: Eugene Volokh (rhymes with “frolic.”)
Up to now, all my opinions of Volokh have been the result of his personal contributions to his blog and his ability to manage the twenty brilliant contributors. I had a mental picture of a bespectacled man in tweeds, with a pipe, with a grandfatherly appearance attempting to cram his wisdom into post adolescent brains with varying results at UCLA. Instead I found a handsome young Russian immigrant (at age 7) who precociously received his BS in computer science in 1983 at the age of 15. He received his JD in ’92 and has been on the faculty at UCLA since 1994. For a more complete look at an absolutely brilliant man, click here.
For those who followed the link, welcome back and you may now join me in wondering how we managed to throw our lives away while Volokh accomplished such remarkable things. Seriously, life isn’t a zero-sum game so we may both enjoy what we have managed to do and hopefully have a measure of pride in some of our accomplishments. You do have to admit though; this guy is a tiger.
The second surprise of the day is an incredible qualifying statement in the solicitation for 10 experienced attorneys for the Civil Rights Division, Voting Section Trial Attorney of the U.S. Department of Justice. For the full “help wanted” ad, click on this link. But first, look at these job requirements.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and have a minimum of three (3) years post-J.D. experience. Applicants must have substantial litigation experience, such as handling discovery, litigation strategy, motions practice, brief writing, interviewing witnesses, taking and defending depositions, trial preparation, trial practice, and negotiations. Applicants must have excellent interpersonal skills, be mature and self sufficient, communicate effectively orally and in writing, and possess excellent professional judgment.
In addition, the following qualifications are preferred: (1) substantive knowledge of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and other statutes enforced by the section; (2) familiarity with the various analytical approaches utilized to review voting changes under Section 5 of the VRA; (3) experience investigating and/or litigating voting rights or civil rights cases; (4) federal judicial experience; (5) experience serving as the lead attorney in federal court cases; (6) familiarity with statistical methodologies used in civil rights cases; (6) and fluency in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese languages.” (emphasis added)
I imagine that if you have spent your life devoted to the law and to Civil Rights law in particular, these requirements might not seem daunting. To those of us lacking these special qualifications they do look pretty stiff. However, the federal government is not the big bad wolf that is often portrayed. They have a heart and offer opportunity to all. Here follows the EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY/REASONABLE ACCOMODATION:
“The Civil Rights Division encourages qualified applicants with targeted disabilities to apply. Targeted disabilities are deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorder, mental retardation, mental illness, severe distortion of limbs and/or spine. Applicants who meet the qualification requirements and are able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation are encouraged to identify targeted disabilities in response to the questions in the Avue application system seeking that information. For additional information for applicants with targeted disabilities, please contact the Civil Rights Division's Disability Program Manager, Diane Petrie, at (202) 514-3934; see also http://www.jan.wvu.edu/LEAD/index.htm and http://www.opm.gov/disability/PeopleWithDisabilities.asp .”
Apparently, they didn’t get the memo about “retardation” at the Justice Department. Or else, a suitable politically correct synonym was not immediately available. Is it possible that the federal government is the only one actually advertising for employees who are suffering from “mental retardation and mental illness?” Having dealt with them for over a half century and also having worked in three different departments (Justice, Commerce and Defense) for short intervals, I am easily persuaded that they are. This just happens to be the first time I have seen it actually posted with their imprimatur.
Now you know why it has been a day of surprises. May I add; a day of hysterical laughter as well. I roared every time I read the last quoted paragraph. Eugene, may I call you Eugene, you have provided more grins and giggles than I have had in years. Thank you ever so much. I enjoy your work and appreciate the stimulation.
In His abiding love,
Posted by One of the Moons at 11:15 AM