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Staff Attorney, Lawyers for Reporters, The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice / City Bar Fund

Position Reports to: Managing Attorney, Lawyers for Reporters/Vance Center

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: New York City, or fully or partly remote, depending on the successful applicant’s location.

The Vance Center advances global justice by engaging lawyers across borders to support civil society and an ethically active legal profession. The Vance Center is a unique collaboration of international lawyers catalyzing public interest innovation. A non-profit program of the New York City Bar Association, we bring together leading law firms and other partners worldwide to pioneer international justice initiatives and provide pro bono legal representation to social justice NGOs.  

Program Description

The Vance Center launched Lawyers for Reporters in March 2020 to provide pro bono legal representation to early-stage local journalism and other reporting organizations in the United States. Since its launch, it has represented more than 180 clients in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Lawyers for Reporters clients include creators and publishers of local and public interest reporting in formats including print, websites, radio, documentary film, video and social media distribution, as well as investigative, advocacy, and academic publishers of public interest content. The strategic goal of Lawyers for Reporters is ensuring that no public interest reporting organization needing legal support will fail to find it because of financial constraints.

Lawyers for Reporters provides a broad range of advice and representation that news and public interest reporting entities need — from inception through establishment as functioning reporting entities. Services include corporate, transactional, employment, and taxation advice. Newsroom-related services include pre-publication review, newsgathering liability advice, demand letter response, subpoena defense, support of freedom of information and access rights, intellectual property licensing, and dispute resolution. Lawyers for Reporters also advises clients regarding obtaining tax-exempt nonprofit status and in establishing and managing subscriber/membership programs. In addition to legal services, the program provides training and capacity building through collaboration with partner organizations and technical specialists.

Based on the successful model of the Vance Center, Lawyers for Reporters works in tandem with lawyers at dozens of law firms around the country in various areas of expertise, all engaged on a pro bono basis. Since its launch, 290 lawyers from 36 law firms have co-counseled with Lawyers for Reporters to serve clients.

The Position

The Staff Attorney, reporting to the Managing Attorney, will collaborate with a team of five professionals in the legal practice of the program in all areas: outreach to reporting organizations to present the opportunity for legal services; intake of new clients; determination of legal needs; communication with clients and law firms providing pro bono co-counseling; coordination with law firms regarding legal services provided; provision of legal advice and representation; and support of fundraising for the program from foundations, law firms, and individuals, in coordination with fundraising staff.

Lawyers for Reporters’ growing client base includes many nonprofit organizations, and clients frequently require advice on employment matters. We seek a Staff Attorney with demonstrable experience in employment and/or exempt organizations law, and the successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop expertise in a broad range of other legal areas affecting news and public interest media organizations and to assume primary responsibility for client matters in these areas.


  • Law degree from a U.S. law school, with additional education or specialization in media law and/or journalism a plus.
  • Admission to practice law in any state, with a preference for California and/or New York or qualification to waive into either jurisdiction.
  • Minimum 3-4 years of legal practice in a U.S. law firm or other organization representing clients, with at least 1-2 years of experience in one or more of employment or exempt organizations law preferred.
  • The ability to work independently, present well in writing and orally, manage multiple short and long-term tasks simultaneously, and report, with the Managing Attorney, to an advisory committee.
  • Authorization to work in the United States.

Additional Experience Preferred

  • Experience and/or general knowledge of professional journalism and/or start-up businesses.
  • Experience with pro bono practice and general knowledge of the U.S. legal market, including pro bono legal services. 
  • Ability to develop and/or work with professional networks and/or other forms of collaboration.
  • Experience with nonprofit management, including governance and compliance.


Starting salary will be $75,000- $95,000 based on experience.

We provide a competitive benefits package, including generous paid time off (vacation, personal, sick time, holidays including closing between Christmas and New Year’s day, day off for volunteer work, extra time off in summer), choice of medical plans, dental, vision, 401K, life insurance, commuter benefits program, Employee Assistance Program, short-term/long-term disability insurance, free New York City Bar Association membership and CLE programs, and employee discounts, among others.

Application instructions: 

Applications will be considered when received until a qualified candidate is hired. To apply, please submit a resume, a cover letter, and a list of three references here:

No phone calls please.