Ex-Senator: Apply Within? 

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Help Wanted: Law firm seeks rootin'-tootin' tobacco-spittin' hombre who cuts a mean figure in smart suit and shiny boots, but who knows Indian shaman's secret of rainmaking. Salary range: $400,000-plus. Must be available after Jan. 1.

It's an ad that soon-to-be-former-Sen. George Allen might love to run across at Monster.com, but one that seems unlikely to be posted anytime soon.

"He was a great partner when he was here, and he's going to have a lot of options both in the practice of law and, I think, outside the practice of law," says Will Allcott, a spokesman at McGuireWoods. That's the Richmond über-firm where Allen practiced between stints in the governor's mansion and the U.S. Senate in the late 1990s.

Allcott declined to speculate on whether Allen might find a corner office available at McGuireWoods. "Right now, he's still a senator," he says.

At least publicly, Allen has fueled speculation about his post-senator life, reportedly avoiding the topic over the weekend during the Virginia GOP's annual Advance at The Homestead.

If he's interested in practicing law again, he'd better get on the phone.

In addition to McGuireWoods, Richmond law firms seem to be noncommittal for now, like at McCandlish Holton, Gov. Tim Kaine's old stomping ground.

"I haven't heard anything about which path he may follow or whether or not that would include going to a law firm," McCandlish spokesman Scott Ford says. "Would he be welcome at this firm? I do think that he will land somewhere, and I think he has served the commonwealth well."

"I don't think we typically speculate," Hirschler Fleischer's Cherie Givens says.

A number of local law firms suggest Allen might fit better at one of the countless conservative think tanks populating Washington, D.C., before re-entering the political fray. Others give indistinct "uhs" and "ums" when asked if he might be welcome at their firm. Feet could be heard shuffling nervously over reflexive clearing of throats.

Perhaps Allen might have as much luck taking his job search back to the ballot box. Governor, again? Or perhaps a run at Sen. John Warner's seat if he retires in 2008.

For its part, Allen's Senate office is mum on future employment — mum except for the country music blaring for callers on hold.

"I know of nothing at this point," an Allen spokesman says. "From what I know right now, he's spending some time with his family — much overdue time with his family. He's in good spirits and he seems like he's doing OK." S

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