About the Institute for Free Speech:

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. Pulitzer-prize-winning columnist George F. Will called the Institute “the gold standard of public advocacy in defense of the most important provision of the Constitution.”

Litigation and legal work comprise about two-thirds of our program activities. We believe we are litigating more cases defending political speech than any other organization. The Institute also conducts traditional think tank work, such as research, education, communications, and external relations.

About the Role:

The Institute for Free Speech is seeking a skilled communicator with experience in media relations and a proven record of developing relationships with journalists and influencers. This role will support all aspects of the Institute for Free Speech’s work. The Communications Director will understand both traditional media outreach efforts and social media to share the Institute’s pro-speech message.

This position demands a candidate who has an in-depth understanding of what drives news stories and can use the news cycle to educate the public on the threats to and the importance of free speech. In short, you will help spread the Institute’s message and fight for the First Amendment’s speech freedoms and a culture of free speech in the court of public opinion.

This person will report to the President of the Institute for Free Speech. This role can be executed from Washington, DC or virtually from anywhere in the United States.

You must have strong writing ability and be able to build and maintain trusted, positive, and productive relationships with media outlets. Your goal is to promote the Institute’s work to drive public understanding about the importance of free speech to our nation and our future.

The Opportunity to Fight for Free Speech:

This is a rare opportunity to work with an organization on the front lines of fighting for free speech. We challenge laws, practices, and policies that infringe upon First Amendment freedoms, such as speech codes that censor parents at school board meetings, laws restricting people’s ability to participate in the political process, and any intrusion into people’s private political associations.

Responsibilities:

  • Build and maintain productive relationships with reporters, bookers and producers, columnists, editorial staff, and social media influencers in this space
  • Aid staff in targeting their work to ensure maximum impact
  • Write and effectively distribute press releases about new lawsuits, developments in cases under litigation, and research reports
  • Write or edit and place op-eds
  • Create powerful messaging for free speech
  • Edit blog content, position statements, and other written products as needed
  • Manage inbound press inquiries
  • Organize press conferences, press availabilities, media briefings, etc.

Position Qualifications:

The ideal candidate must have:

  • A passion for our mission to defend and expand political speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment
  • Demonstrated experience in driving successful communications campaigns for products, issues, nonprofits, or candidates
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills
  • A proven track record as an innovator and self-starter
  • Good judgment
  • Familiarity with Word, WordPress, Constant Contact/Mail Chimp, Cision, etc., or an aptitude for using such technology

Additionally:

  • Working knowledge of free speech issues is a strong plus
  • A substantial number of social media followers is a strong plus

If you read through this job description and think you are a strong candidate, regardless of how many years of experience you have, we welcome your application.

Compensation:

We will pay a competitive salary commensurate with experience. Our comprehensive benefits package includes 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.

To Apply:

Candidates should submit the following in one PDF file with your name in the file:

  • Cover letter detailing interest in the position and why we should hire you. Please also explain your interest in the Institute for Free Speech’s mission. Be sure to include your salary requirements, your preferred work location, and your interest, if any, in working full-time from our headquarters.
  • Resume
  • At least two writing samples; writing samples relevant to IFS’s work are preferred, but any writing sample is acceptable.

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

There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.

Questions can be directed to Katy Gambella, Director of Network Engagement of 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.

Applications have closed for the 2022-2023 term.

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 August or September, 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 will be provided. Our comprehensive benefits package includes 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 (for those working in our Washington, D.C. office), and a 401(k) with low-cost funds and an employer match.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, contact information for three professional and/or character references, and a writing sample in one combined PDF file to info@ifs.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis for fellows seeking a position in the 2023-24 term.

The 2023 Institute for Free Speech Summer Associate Legal Fellowship is a unique opportunity for current law school students to explore a career in public interest and First Amendment law. The program is open to students who will finish their first or second year of law school by the summer of 2023.

Fellows are expected to work full time for ten weeks in our Washington, D.C. headquarters, but other arrangements may be available to especially outstanding candidates.

Fellows are eligible to earn $10,000 in salary for their ten weeks of employment.

During the fellowship, students will work with Institute for Free Speech attorneys for a portion of their time. Each fellow will also be expected to complete a project. Applicants are encouraged to be creative in suggesting a project as part of their application. While many projects may produce papers suitable for publication, we will consider any project related to protecting or advancing First Amendment rights.

About the Institute for Free Speech

The nonpartisan Institute for Free Speech is a leading voice promoting and defending 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. However, we also represent clients in First Amendment challenges to laws that limit speech about government, and we engage publicly on the full range of free expression protected by the First Amendment.

To Apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter, brief (300-500 words) personal statement explaining what called you to public interest work and the Institute for Free Speech’s mission, resume, law school transcript, names of three references, and a writing sample to info@ifs.org in one combined PDF file that contains your name in the file name. Please include “Summer Associate Legal Fellowship” in the subject line, and indicate how you learned about this opportunity in your email.

Those with interest are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applications received after February 7, 2023 will not be eligible for a $10,000 salaried fellowship. Additional fellowships may be available after February 7, 2023, but compensation is not guaranteed.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Those selected for the $10,000 salaried fellowship will be notified by February 17, 2023. If other fellowships are offered, the notification date may be as late as March 31, 2023.

All applicants for a $10,000 paid fellowship must complete their first or second year of law school by the start of their fellowship and be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident. Other summer fellowships may be available for those who lack these requirements.

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