The Institute for Free Speech anticipates the need for a highly experienced attorney to direct our litigation and legal advocacy. In September, President Trump announced the nomination of our longtime Legal Director to the Federal Election Commission. In late October, the President nominated two others to fill the remaining vacancies on the Commission, and a confirmation hearing was held in mid-November. After the Committee acts to approve the nominations, which may occur in early December, the Institute for Free Speech will move forward with interviewing applicants.
Founded in 2005 by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith, the nonpartisan Institute for Free Speech promotes and defends First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government.
Our specialty is the regulation of political activity. Our legal work primarily challenges campaign finance and lobbying laws that restrict First Amendment rights. We also represent clients in First Amendment challenges to laws that limit speech about government, and we engage publicly on the full range of First Amendment-protected activity.
This is a rare opportunity to develop and implement a long-term legal strategy directed toward the protection of Constitutional rights. You would work to create legal precedents clearing away a thicket of laws and regulations that suppress speech about government and candidates for political office, that threaten citizens’ privacy if they speak or join groups, and that impose heavy burdens on organized political activity.
The litigation and legal advocacy you would oversee comprises about half of our program activities. The other half consists of traditional think tank work such as research, education, communications, and external relations.
The Legal Director will direct our litigation and legal advocacy, lead our in-house legal team, and manage and expand our network of volunteer attorneys.
The Legal Director must have extensive litigation experience and a broad background in legal advocacy. Ideally, the Legal Director will have deep First Amendment or constitutional law expertise. Familiarity with campaign finance or lobbying law is a significant plus. The Legal Director will work with senior management to set organizational priorities. The position reports directly to the President.
As a senior legal position with a leading nonprofit organization, it requires substantial travel (post-pandemic, we estimate 10-20% for the DC-based Legal Director), significant working hours, and the ability to act autonomously.
A strong preference will be given to candidates who can work in our Washington, D.C. headquarters. However, we will consider exceptionally strong candidates living and working virtually from anywhere in the country. In addition to litigation-related or advocacy-related travel, a virtual candidate would be required to travel for regular week-long visits to IFS’s headquarters after the pandemic’s impact has receded.
We will pay a competitive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include an excellent health insurance plan, dental insurance, vision care, health savings account, 16 days of paid office holidays, paid time off, paid parental leave, long-term disability insurance, commuting benefits, and a 401(k) with low-cost funds and an employer match.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Qualified candidates should submit the following in one PDF file:
Submit your application to Talent Market via this link:
Questions can be directed to Katelynn Barbosa, Talent Engagement Manager at Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.
Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.
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 Washington, D.C. 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 email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
The Institute for Free Speech (IFS) seeks spring interns to aid our External Relations, Research, and Communications Departments. Please note that, due to the ongoing pandemic, all internships at this time will be conducted remotely.
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, spring interns at the Institute for Free Speech will aid the External Relations Director and Research Director by:
Spring interns at IFS will also aid the Communications Director and Media Manager by:
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.
Qualified candidates should send the following to External Relations Director Matt Nese via e-mail in one combined PDF at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. A spring start date is flexible, preferably in late January or early February.