Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Attorney, First Amendment Litigation


The Institute for Free Speech (IFS) seeks an experienced attorney to join its litigation team. A successful applicant will be expected to take a leading, independent role in First Amendment cases brought in federal and state courts.

Founded in 2005 by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith, the Institute for Free Speech (formerly known as the Center for Competitive Politics) is the nation’s largest organization devoted solely to the protection of the First Amendment’s guarantees of free speech, press, assembly, and petition.

Ideally, the Attorney will be based in our Washington, DC area office. However, IFS will consider candidates living and working virtually from anywhere in the country. In addition to litigation-related travel, a virtual candidate would be required to travel for periodic week-long visits to IFS’s office in the Washington, DC area.


  • As directed by IFS’s Legal Director, serve as counsel responsible for all stages of litigation, including: research; discovery; writing correspondence; writing complaints, memoranda, and briefs; motion practice; and court appearances
  • Work directly with local counsel and clients
  • Assist in writing advocacy materials, including legal backgrounders, blog posts, and opinion articles
  • Write or assist with writing legal analysis of legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives


  • Proven ability to litigate cases independently
  • At least 4-6 years of active litigation experience, with an emphasis on discovery and motion practice before the federal district courts; experience litigating questions of federal constitutional law is strongly preferred. A clerkship may substitute for one year of experience.
  • Membership in good standing of a state bar, and eligibility for admission to the bar of the District of Columbia and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Meticulously organized and detail-oriented approach to work product, and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines, and work variable hours when required
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal skills, exceptional writing ability, and an ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Demonstrated understanding of civil rights and civil liberties issues, particularly in the areas of campaign finance regulation and associational privacy, is a significant plus
  • Strong commitment to advancing the mission of the Institute for Free Speech

This job can be virtual.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following in one PDF file:

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing interest in this position, the mission of the organization, and salary requirements
  • Your preferred work location and availability for periodic travel to Washington, DC
  • Names and contact information of at least three professional references able to speak to the applicant’s litigation experience
  • One writing sample reflecting solely the applicant’s own work
  • An unofficial copy of the applicant’s law school transcript (an official copy may be requested before an offer is extended)

Materials should be emailed in one PDF document to Claire Kittle Dixon, Executive Director of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search:

Please include “Attorney, IFS – [Your Name]” in the subject line of your email.

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls please.

Fall Internship


The Institute for Free Speech (IFS) seeks fall interns to aid our External Relations and Research Department and Communications Department efforts.

Founded by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith as a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, the Institute for Free Speech (formerly the Center for Competitive Politics) exists to inform the public through litigation, policy analysis, media outreach, and educational activities on the benefits of freedom and dynamism in the area of campaign finance and election law. We promote and defend the First Amendment political rights of speech, press, assembly, and petition and oppose McCain-Feingold style regulation of campaign funding and other restrictions that limit the ability of citizens to participate in the political process and support the candidates and causes of their choice.


Primarily, fall interns at the Institute for Free Speech will aid the External Relations and Research Department by:

  • Conducting original research and producing both short-term and long-term research products in the area of campaign finance and political speech regulation
  • Drafting short Issue Analyses on topical campaign finance issues
  • Authoring brief research critiques of publications released by the anti-speech community
  • Authoring occasional op-eds critiquing the claims of those who advocate for greater regulation of political speech
  • Blogging regularly on campaign finance and political speech issues with the guidance of an IFS supervisor
  • Watching and attending hearings on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures when necessary
  • Attending relevant policy and networking events at other organizations during office hours and infrequently after close of business

Fall interns at IFS will also aid the Communications Department by:

  • Aiding in the drafting of press releases
  • Updating and maintaining the organization’s website on a daily basis
  • Tracking media coverage of the Institute’s issues
  • Helping compile stories for the Institute’s signature daily Media Update


Qualified candidates should have an interest in political science or election law and in defending the First Amendment. The most qualified candidates will have completed at least two years of undergraduate study.

Prospective interns should also have the following skills and experience:  excellent writing skills, solid analytical ability and Internet research skills, familiarity with Microsoft Office applications including Outlook, Word, and Excel, a detail-oriented personality, strong initiative, demonstrated resourcefulness, and a willingness to take on a variety of assignment types — working both independently and as part of a team. Candidates should be politically aware (though no specific political preference is required).

Full-time interns may receive a stipend, as conditions and professional experience warrant. All interns will receive a full travel stipend via Metro.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should send the following to External Relations Director Matt Nese via e-mail in one combined PDF at

  • Current resume
  • Two writing samples reflecting solely the applicant’s own work (preferably about 5 pages in length each)
  • A quantitative research sample, if available (likely via an Excel spreadsheet or an economics or statistics paper)
  • One recommendation from a professor, candidate or elected official, political leader, or supervisor at a previous place of employment
  • An unofficial transcript of all college-level classes

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. A fall start date is flexible (preferably in early September).

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.