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Legal Fellow, Washington University School of Law First Amendment Clinic

The First Amendment Clinic at Washington University School of Law seeks a full-time Legal Fellow for a two-year term. 

The First Amendment Clinic’s mission is to defend and advance the rights of free speech, press, assembly, and petition through regional litigation and advocacy, while providing law students with the practice experience to become leaders on First Amendment issues.  The Clinic takes on a wide array of cases and controversies, including litigating First Amendment violations by raising claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, defending against libel claims and newsgathering torts, and seeking access to court proceedings and records.  In recent cases, the Clinic successfully represented musicians challenging municipal policies that prevented them from playing on public sidewalks, a homeless veteran who was repeatedly arrested under an unconstitutional content-based solicitation ordinance, a local political activist who was blocked from the Twitter account of her elected official because she questioned one of his policy positions, and a journalist seeking to unseal court records. The Clinic and the legal fellow position are supported by the Stanton Foundation.

Under the direction of the Clinic’s Director, the Fellow will be expected to: (1) engage in substantial legal work, including intake/case evaluation, client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, drafting pleadings and other legal filings, participating in discovery, and making court appearances; and (2) help supervise law students by providing feedback on their written work, client interaction, and oral advocacy. The Fellow will also assist with coalition building and managing referral relationships with public interest organizations, law firms, journalists, and other stakeholders committed to protecting expressive freedoms.

Candidates must possess a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and must be admitted or eligible to practice law in Missouri (i.e., must be a member of the Missouri bar, able to become a member within six months of starting the position, or eligible for a certificate to supervise students as a law teacher pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 13.06). Candidates should possess a strong academic record; excellent written and oral communication skills; strong organizational and time-management skills; an ability to build and maintain relationships with both students and community/professional partners; and an interest in First Amendment law.  Preference will be given to candidates who have at least two years of litigation or clerkship experience. 

The proposed start date for this position is July 1, 2023.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  For fullest consideration, apply by February 17, 2023. Applicants should submit a cover letter (briefly describing the candidate’s interest and qualifications), resume, and at least two references at this link.

Questions about the position may be directed to Lisa Hoppenjans, Director, First Amendment Clinic, at