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Legal Fellow, Ishiyama Transparency in Government, NPR


NPR seeks an outstanding recent law school graduate with an interest in First Amendment and media law to serve as its Ishiyama Transparency in Government Legal Fellow.  Under the guidance of NPR staff lawyers, the Legal Fellow works with NPR journalists to obtain access to public records and proceedings that shed light on the operations of government.  The Legal Fellow will help reporters craft requests for records under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state public records laws, appeal inappropriate denials, request access to court records and proceedings, and work with NPR staff lawyers and outside counsel in litigating FOIA, state public records act, and court-access cases.  Time permitting, the Legal Fellow may also assist NPR staff lawyers on other media law matters, such as reviewing amicus briefs, pre-publication review, counseling reporters on newsgathering, copyright, and First Amendment issues, defending content-related suits, and negotiating content-related agreements. 

This is a full-time, 2-year fellowship that will begin in August or early September of 2024.  The Legal Fellow will be paid $85,000 per year, plus benefits, including paid vacation. 


  • Work with NPR journalists to request access to records under the federal Freedom of Information
    Act and state public records laws;
  • Work with NPR staff attorneys and outside counsel to prepare appeals from inappropriate denials
    of such requests;
  • Track federal FOIA and state public records requests and appeals across the NPR newsroom and the newsrooms of NPR Member stations engaged with NPR in collaborative reporting projects;
  • Work with NPR staff attorneys and outside counsel to pursue FOIA, state public records act, and
    court-access litigation, and, time permitting, to defend content-related lawsuits against NPR and
    NPR journalists;
  • Conduct legal research and advise NPR legal colleagues and reporters on FOIA, state public
    records act, court-access, and other media law issues;
  • Prepare memoranda, presentations, and other materials for internal and external audiences; and
  • Prepare training materials and work with staff lawyers and newsroom leaders to train journalists in effective use of FOIA and state public records laws.

The above duties and responsibilities are not an exhaustive list of required responsibilities, duties and skills. Other duties may be assigned, and this job description can be modified at any time.


  • Outstanding academic credentials, including a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school earned by June 2024; and
  • Bar membership in good standing in the District of Columbia, or eligibility to waive into the DC bar, by January 2025.


Bachelor’s degree and J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school earned by June 2024 required.


  • Hybrid Permitted: This is a hybrid permitted role. Some aspects of this role include duties that are better performed at an NPR facility. The employee will be required to be onsite at the Washington, DC office at least 10 days a year. The employee must also reside in an NPR supported location based on the number of onsite days they choose.


  • Demonstrated interest in, and knowledge of, the federal Freedom of Information Act, state public records laws, court-access law, and media law, generally;
  • Superb oral and written communications skills, high ethical and professional standards, a commitment to journalism, and good judgment; and
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects, to set and adjust priorities, and to work under pressure.


  • This is a full time, non exempt position.


Salary Range: The U.S. based anticipated salary range for this opportunity is $85,000 plus benefits. The range displayed reflects the minimum and maximum salaries NPR expects to provide for new hires for the position across all US locations.

Benefits: NPR offers access to comprehensive benefits for employees and dependents. Regular, full-time employees scheduled to work 30 hours or more per week are eligible to enroll in NPR’s benefits options. Benefits include access to health and wellness, paid time off, and financial well-being. Plan options include medical, dental, vision, life/accidental death and dismemberment, long-term disability, short-term disability, and voluntary retirement savings to all eligible NPR employees. 

NPR is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NPR is committed to being an inclusive workplace that welcomes diverse and unique perspectives, all working toward the same goal – to create a more informed public. Qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, religion, religious belief, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, lactation, and reproductive health decisions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, transgender status, gender non-conforming status, intersex status, sexual stereotypes, nationality, citizenship status, personal appearance, marital status, family status, family responsibilities, military status, veteran status, mental and physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, genetic characteristics of yourself or a family member, political views and affiliation, unemployment status, protective order status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or any other basis prohibited under applicable law.

For more information and to apply, click here.