Applications Now Open for First Amendment Coalition Legal Fellow

The First Amendment Coalition (FAC), an award-winning, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment and the public’s right to know, is looking for a practicing lawyer or a recent law school graduate to serve for one year as a Legal Fellow, with the possibility of renewal for a second year. We are seeking a highly motivated lawyer with excellent credentials and a demonstrated interest in the relevant areas of law. 

The Legal Fellow will work with FAC’s Executive Director and FAC’s Litigation Director to expand FAC’s strategic litigation program and our ability to provide expert legal assistance to working journalists and other individuals—with a particular focus on those in traditionally underserved communities. FAC’s legal work is focused on enhancing public access to federal, state and local government records and proceedings and protecting the First Amendment rights of free speech and press. FAC also works to provide legal assistance to journalists served with subpoenas for their confidential sources and notes.

The Legal Fellow’s duties will include: (1) researching, drafting, submitting, and following up on requests for government records under the California Public Records Act and the federal Freedom of Information Act; (2) identifying, formulating and helping to bring cases in state and federal courts seeking access to government meetings and records, as well as to court proceedings and records; (3) organizing, researching and drafting amicus briefs, and screening amicus briefs that FAC is asked to join; (4) helping locate and then assisting pro bono counsel to represent subpoenaed journalists; (5) assisting journalists at a startup newsroom in Northern California gain access to public records and meetings; (6) other tasks to support FAC’s legal work.

Qualifications:

(1) have a J.D. from a U.S. accredited law school and have excellent academic credentials.  

(2) show a demonstrated interest in First Amendment law and/or FOIA and other access laws. A background in journalism is a plus.

(3) be a self-starter and detail-oriented, with the ability to work collegially and collaboratively on a small staff. 

(4) have strong research, analytical and legal writing skills.

It is preferred that the Legal Fellow have one or more years of legal experience working in the relevant legal areas, in a judicial clerkship, law firm, or non-profit organization. California bar membership is required, though FAC will consider recent graduates who have applied for membership to the California bar or attorneys licensed elsewhere who are willing to apply for California bar membership.

FAC’s staff is working remotely during the pandemic. However, we will give preference to candidates who are, or can be, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are able to work in FAC’s offices in San Rafael when it is safe to reopen.

FAC is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. We strongly encourage women, veterans, people with disabilities, people of color, people of all ages, and gender nonconforming candidates to apply.

This is a full-time position.

Applicants are encouraged to submit materials as soon as possible; applications are preferred by April 30.  No calls, please.

Location: 

San Rafael, California.

Salary: 

Competitive with similar positions in California nonprofits.  Includes health benefits and eligibility for FAC’s 403(b) retirement plan, including a 5% employer match.

Starting date: 

Summer 2021, specific date negotiable.

How to apply:

Applicants should email a resume and cover letter outlining their suitability for the job to legalfellow@firstamendmentcoalition.org.  

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print