Next time the cold really gets to you, think with envy of Edward C. King, executive director of the D.C.-based National Senior Citizens Law Center. King is packing to take up a job as the first chief justice in the newly self-governing Federated States of Micronesia.
Micronesia has a population of about 76,000 scattered on more than 700 islands spread over one million square miles of blue Pacific Ocean. Micronesia has less than one-tenth as many people as Washington and four times the space. The average daily temperature dips to a low of 74 degrees and usually climbs to about 91 -- no higher.
King was appointed chief justice for life at a starting salary of $40,000 a year -- not bad for a 40-year-old lawyer who was born and bred in the not-too-tropical environs of Indianapolis.
Lucky man. There are only three native Micronesian lawyers, and they are all recent law school graduates -- too young and inexperienced for the job of chief justice.
King has been in private practice, taught law and -- most importantly -- spent four years as deputy director of Micronesia Legal Services.
The good news for those not so fortunate is that King is looking for staff and consultants. The Micronesian constitution -- patterned after that of the United States, complete with a bill of rights -- is just over a year old. It is the law of the land but is embellished by no case law, no rules of civil procedure -- nothing.
It will be up to King and three associate justices still to be chosen by the Micronesian government to develop the law for the country.
King says he's looking for people knowledgeable in constitutional law, judicial administration, criminal law procedure and several other fields.
The pay is not the greatest; the food is mostly rice, fish and chicken. But ahh, the climate. . . .