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Legal Fellow, First Amendment Coalition

The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) seeks applicants to join our growing team for a full-time legal fellowship for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year.  We seek a highly motivated lawyer with excellent credentials and a demonstrated interest in the relevant areas of law. 

Nonpartisan and nonprofit, FAC believes that the broadest range of engaged and informed communities is essential to the health of our democracy – that the values expressed by the First Amendment provide a blueprint for an inclusive, equitable society and a responsive, accountable government. To that end, FAC educates, advocates and litigates to protect and promote government transparency and First Amendment protections for all.

The Legal Fellow will report to FAC’s Legal Director and work with FAC staff to expand FAC’s strategic litigation program and our ability to provide expert legal assistance to working journalists, community members and others, 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 defends press independence by providing legal assistance to journalists served with subpoenas for their confidential sources or newsgathering materials.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Researching, drafting, submitting, and following up on requests for government records under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) or federal Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”); 
  • Identifying, formulating and helping to bring cases in state or federal courts to protect transparency and First Amendment rights; 
  • Organizing, researching and drafting amicus briefs, and screening amicus briefs that FAC is asked to join; 
  • Helping locate and then assisting pro bono counsel to represent subpoenaed journalists; 
  • Responding to questions by journalists and community members about First Amendment concerns, access to public records and meetings and other topics; 
  • Other tasks to support FAC’s legal work and mission.

Qualifications:  

  • J.D. from a U.S. accredited law school and excellent academic credentials;  
  • Demonstrated interest in First Amendment law and/or CPRA, FOIA, or similar access laws. A background in journalism or other work involving similar skills or experience is a plus;
  • Self-starter and detail-oriented, with the ability to work collegially and collaboratively on a small staff; 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including in research, analysis and legal writing;
  • California bar membership or application to join California bar pending results of recent bar examination as of fall 2023;
  • Preference for one or more years of legal experience working in the relevant legal areas, such as in a judicial clerkship, law firm, or non-profit organization.

For more information and to apply, click here.