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“Applicants Must Have Balls of Steel”

tankBaghd.jpgSo last Friday, new weekly job postings went up on Lawyers Weekly’s job page. One of them comes from the Department of State, which is advertising an “International Legal Opportunity.”

Anyone who knows anything about the legal profession likely knows that with government lawyer jobs, there are usually far too many applicants, often times several hundred applicants per job opening. So what kind of government lawyer job is so hard to fill that the State Department has to resort to classified listings?

“The Department of State has an exciting opportunity available for an energetic, self-motivated U.S. citizen to serve as Senior Rule of Law Advisor in Embassy Baghdad.”

Uhm, yeah, that’d explain it. So it would seem the government’s having trouble finding lawyers who want to be relocated to Baghdad. Which is shocking, right?

Another interesting thing here is that the Lawyers Weekly classified pages include listings for 17 states plus the District of Columbia. Yet the State Department only appears to have run its ad in the Massachusetts classifieds. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the state has a particular overpopulation of lawyers with an exceptionally small pool of lawyer jobs (i.e., there be lots of unemployed lawyers in much of Massachusetts). It’d be cynical to think the government was specifically targeting folks desperate for work by waving this tempting, tempting offer before them, right?

In any event, I know we have some lawyers who read this site, so if you’re interested, here’s the full listing. I suspect the first person to actually apply will the get the job, so your chances should be quite high.

The Department of State has an exciting opportunity available for an energetic, self-motivated U.S. citizen to serve as Senior Rule of Law Advisor in Embassy Baghdad. The Advisor plays a central role at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, in developing policy and programs to assist in developing the Iraqi justice system. Duties include designing, implementing, and managing programs to train and build the capacity of judges; provide security for courts, judges, and witnesses; support coordination among police, courts, and prisons; and to support other programs that promote the development of an independent judiciary and functioning legal and criminal justice system in Iraq. Applicants must have either a law degree and five years of legal experience (preferably in an international criminal justice setting), or at least five years of experience in the design and implementation of international rule of law/justice capacity-building and training programs. Applicants must also have superior interpersonal skills, excellent oral and written communications skills, and eligibility for State Department security and medical clearances. Preferred qualifications include experience working on international justice-related programs and issues in post-conflict settings, experience with Middle East culture, familiarity with civil law systems, basic Arabic language ability, and knowledge of the U.S. Government interagency process. For additional information, please contact Suzanne Sheldon, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, at 202-647-0456 or via email at: SheldonSA@State.gov. For a full copy of the solicitation (PSC-07-040-INL) and application instructions for this position, please contact Mary Pat Hayes-Crow via email at: Hayes-CrowMP2@state.gov.
EMail: SheldonSA@State.gov