About the Institute

The Institute for Free Speech (IFS), formerly the Center for Competitive Politics, is a nonpartisan organization that promotes and defends the First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government. The Institute is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights. IFS has played a key role in every major pro-political free speech case decided by the Supreme Court since 2006.

Through litigation, policy analysis, original research, media outreach, and educational activities, the Institute informs the public of the benefits of freedom and dynamism in the area of political free speech and opposes McCain-Feingold style regulation of campaigns and other restrictions that limit the ability of citizens and groups to participate in the political process and support the candidates and causes of their choice.

About the Role

The Institute for Free Speech is searching for a detail-oriented, intellectually curious, and driven Media Manager with strong writing skills, impeccable judgment, and media savvy to assist with various outward-facing initiatives in support of the Institute’s mission to promote and defend our First Amendment rights to free political speech, press, assembly, and petition.

The Media Manager will be in charge of compiling and distributing the organization’s signature Daily Media Update publication, an e-mail newsletter consisting of topical political speech-related stories and legal developments as well as notable commentary from various viewpoints that is distributed to hundreds of journalists, allies, and interested parties every weekday. The Media Manager will also be responsible for the content of the Institute’s social media posts and will have the opportunity to contribute significantly to the Institute’s catalog of commentary championing First Amendment speech freedoms. The combined nature of these duties positions the Media Manager as a front-facing member of the organization with an ability to build a considerable contact base. This role will be based at IFS’s headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area.


  • Compile and produce the Institute’s signature Daily Media Update every weekday
  • Oversee organization’s presence on social media channels, especially Twitter and Facebook
  • Post content to and maintain portions of the Institute’s WordPress-based website
  • Track and monitor the organization’s media outreach efforts
  • Author regular op-eds and blog posts on pertinent political speech-related issues with the guidance of the Communications Director and the Director of External Relations
  • Assist the Communications Director in drafting articles for the Institute’s quarterly newsletter, Speaking Freely
  • Expect to be featured as the author of the Media Update and op-eds and blog posts you write

Candidates with interest in and/or experience with graphic design will have the opportunity to design the organization’s quarterly newsletter, infographics, and research publications. However, this skill set is not a prerequisite for applying.


  • 1-3 years of experience in a professional office environment; internships may be considered experience
  • 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Political Science, or a related field
  • Interest in defending the First Amendment’s guarantee of free political speech
  • Strong writing and critical thinking skills
  • Detail-oriented personality
  • Eagerness to immerse oneself in media coverage and commentary on myriad speech-related issues
  • Ability to accomplish tasks in a timely manner, particularly the Media Update, which is distributed every weekday morning
  • Strong judgment, especially when posting and interacting with others on the Institute’s social media accounts
  • Comfortability with being featured as the editor-in-chief of the Media Update and other outward-facing initiatives
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a collaborative team
  • Familiarity with Constant Contact is strongly preferred, but not a prerequisite for consideration
  • Working knowledge of the basics of campaign finance law will be viewed favorably but is not a necessity
  • Experience with graphic design programs, especially Adobe InDesign, is a significant plus, but not required

Application Instructions

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Cover letter detailing interest in the position, any relevant professional experience with regard to the mission of the organization and the Media Manager role, and salary requirements
  • Résumé
  • An unofficial copy of the applicant’s college transcript (an official copy may be requested before an offer is extended)
  • Two writing samples (past professional work, college papers, op-eds, or blog posts) of roughly 5 pages in length each reflecting solely the applicant’s own work [Writing samples focused on political speech issues are desirable, but not a prerequisite to being considered]
  • Names, contact information, and relationship details of at least two references able to speak to the applicant’s professional experience and/or character

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link: talentmarket.org/apply-for-your-dream-job/.

Questions can be directed to Katy Ranville, Network Engagement Manager at Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: katy@talentmarket.org.

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. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.

The Institute for Free Speech’s First Amendment Fellowship allows recent law school graduates, judicial clerks, and mid-career attorneys the chance to gain practical experience litigating constitutional challenges. Fellows will work alongside the Institute’s attorneys to tackle all aspects of trial and appellate practice in cases challenging restrictions on Americans’ rights to freely speak, publish, assemble, and petition.

Fellowships are for one year, typically beginning each summer, and are intended to prepare attorneys for careers in constitutional advocacy. The fellowship is excellent preparation for a judicial clerkship, a career change, a public interest litigation career, academia, or private practice. It can also lead to a permanent position at the Institute for Free Speech.

Fellows are expected to work full time in our Alexandria, VA office, but other arrangements may be available to especially outstanding candidates.

A competitive salary and benefits are provided. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, three references, and a writing sample to Allen Dickerson, the Institute’s Legal Director, at adickerson@ifs.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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

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 Director and Research Director 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 Director 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.

Application Instructions

Qualified candidates should send the following to External Relations Director Matt Nese via e-mail in one combined PDF at mnese@ifs.org:

  • 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).