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MFIA Clinical Fellowship, Yale Law School

The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School is now accepting applications for a fellowship position with the Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic (MFIA). MFIA is a law student clinic dedicated to increasing government transparency, defending the essential work of news gatherers, and protecting freedom of expression.  It fulfills this mission by providing pro bono legal services, pursuing impact litigation, and developing policy initiatives. Since its founding in 2009 as the first law school clinic dedicated to defending the rights of newsgatherers and promoting government transparency, the MFIA Clinic has litigated cases on the cutting edge of digital free expression and achieved successes for a wide range of clients, from individual investigative journalists and major news organizations to whistleblowers, scholars, and non-profit advocacy organizations.

The duties of the Clinical Fellow include:

  • Assuming overall responsibility for selected cases on the MFIA docket and supervising Yale Law School students in the Clinic.
  • Assisting the Clinic’s intake process and shaping its docket.
  • Teaching several substantive and skill-based classes to students as part of the Clinic’s weekly seminar.
  • Supervising summer law student interns at the Clinic and covering Clinic cases during semester breaks.
  • Coordinating the Access and Accountability Conference hosted each fall by MFIA and the Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression.
  • Engaging in the scholarly activities of the ISP, which include regular academic lunches, workshops, conferences, and talks.

The candidate must have:

  • At least two years of relevant litigation experience, including some demonstrated interest in the fields of media law, First Amendment, FOIA, Internet law, administrative law, or intellectual property law.
  • Admission to at least one state bar. 
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills.
  • An exceptional ability to work with others, including students, staff, clients, and outside counsel.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • The ability to juggle multiple projects and work under pressure to meet deadlines.  

The ideal candidate will also have experience litigating with and supervising law students or more junior attorneys.

The ISP and MFIA value diverse life experiences and backgrounds and encourage candidates from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in First Amendment and media law to apply. MFIA seeks candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in litigation or public advocacy on issues surrounding digital-age free expression and government transparency.

The Fellow will work closely with the Clinic’s team of litigators, which includes Clinic Director David Schulz and Fellows Rachel Davidson and Kelsey Eberly. The Fellowship is a full-time position based at Yale Law School in New Haven. The position starts on July 1 and lasts for one year, renewable for a second year. The salary for the fellowship will be $75,000-82,500 depending on experience.  Fellows also receive Yale health benefits and access to university facilities, as well as a travel budget for academic and clinic conferences.

Application Instructions

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning January 17, 2023. Applications should include:

  • A statement of no more than three (3) pages describing the applicant’s interest in the fellowship, relevant practice experience, and career goals;
  • A copy of the applicant’s resume;
  • A law school transcript; and
  • At least one sample of recent legal writing, preferably a brief or memorandum.

Application materials should be sent (in electronic form) to Heather Branch at heather.branch@yale.edu.  Please indicate clearly in the subject line of your email that you are applying for the MFIA Fellowship.

For further information, please feel free to contact MFIA Clinic Director David Schulz at david.schulz@yale.edu.

MFIA is a program of the Abrams Institute at Yale Law School and is administered by the ISP. The Abrams Institute and the ISP are directed by Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment Jack Balkin. In addition to MFIA Clinic Director David Schulz, visiting clinical lecturers Sandra Baron and Jennifer Borg oversee the Clinic’s “DocProject,” a dedicated team of Yale Law students that advises documentarians and independent filmmakers during the production phase of their projects, working on libel, privacy, and other newsgathering issues. More information about the MFIA Clinic, including its current docket, can be found on the Clinic website.

Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at TitleIX@yale.edu, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or email: ocr.boston@ed.gov.