On those rare occasions when the career services memo includes a job that brushes against government service, I generally jump at the chance to learn more.
I don't know if I actually could spend my days writing federal legislation (they ask for concise, clear writing, but I'm wondering for which Senate they write laws), but I certainly have the ability to do so given my background and recent education. So when I read a listing for the Senate Office of the Legislative Counsel, I thought, hey, alright, cool, may as well cast as wide a net as possible.
Here's the blurb:
The Office offers an exciting opportunity to assist Senate Committees ad senators in drafting legislation at all stages in the legislative process. Attorneys in the Office draft legislation that carries out the policy of clients, while ensuring that drafts are technically correct, are as explicit and readable as possible, and are properly integrated into Federal Law. Seeking applicants with the following qualities: (1) a record of academic excellence, evidenced by ranking in the upper third of a law school class, (2) an ability to write clearly and concisely, (3) no substantial participation with any political party or cause, and (4) a beleif [sic.] that public service can be interesting and challenging and offers the opportunity for a rewarding lifelong career. Please send a Resume, Transcript, Actual or estimated class standing, a legal writing sample (10 pages or less) that is written solely by the applicant and is not published under the name of any other person.
Okay, I'm the first to admit that on item (1), it would be a bit of a battle (yeah, yeah, I shoulda studied more first year - and not elected to take Fed Income Tax and Corporations with two of the toughest profs. Sue me. Or more to the point, don't hire me. But I digress).
On points (2) and (4) I'm a a shoe-in (rambling posts aside).
Then there's item (3).
Uh, define "substantial participation."
Frankly, the fact that I demand such a definition is an indicator of exactly why I do the legislation thing well. A blog isn't a cause, is it? I tried to ask one of the career services staff members if she knew what item (3) meant. She said, "well, unless you were like the head of the Hastings Democratic whatever you'd probably be fine."
[insert sound of crickets chirping here]
I don't know if that really rises to the "substantial participation," but you have to agree - it was pretty funny.
I have a lengthy philosophical view on why outside partisan activity most likely bears not on professional performance, but for now, lets just soak up the humor for a bit . . . .