Director of Litigation

This position will be based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

About FIRE

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on our nation’s college campuses. Please visit thefire.org to gain a sense of our work and mission.

Position Description

FIRE is seeking an experienced and proactive Director of Litigation to oversee our Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, a national effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes from our nation’s public colleges and universities. To learn more about Stand Up For Speech, please visit standupforspeech.com.

The Director of Litigation will report directly to the Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Advocacy while working with the Associate Director of Litigation and overseeing other staff attorneys in the department. Additionally, the Director of Litigation will work closely with other FIRE departments, external attorneys, students, and faculty. The duties for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying, evaluating, and engaging potential student and faculty plaintiffs, independently and in coordination with other FIRE departments;
  • Identifying other opportunities for strategic litigation in service of FIRE’s mission;
  • Overseeing the research, drafting, editing, and filing of all litigation-related documents;
  • Coordinating representation with volunteer FIRE Legal Network attorneys;
  • Advising senior leadership on effective litigation strategy and tailoring legal strategy to the organization’s mission and other activities;   
  • Executing strategies following Board of Directors and senior leadership approval;
  • Overseeing the maintenance of all necessary internal records, metrics, reporting, and budgeting for the department;
  • Ensuring compliance with all professional and ethical standards and requirements for staff relevant to litigation;  
  • Coordinating media strategy in service of litigation and FIRE’s mission in conjunction with the communications department and senior leadership;
  • Representing the organization via public speaking and media appearances on campuses, at conferences, and to media outlets nationwide;
  • Authoring content for both FIRE and outside publications;
  • Assisting with FIRE’s continuing legal education programming;
  • Identifying opportunities for FIRE’s participation as amicus curiae in ongoing litigation nationwide that may impact FIRE’s mission;
  • Overseeing the research, writing, and filing of amicus curiae briefs on FIRE’s behalf.

This position involves a substantial amount of travel, and night and weekend work should be expected.

The expected start date for this position is flexible.

Qualifications

A successful candidate must demonstrate a knowledge and passion for FIRE’s mission and an ability to articulate that passion in a way that will make others enthusiastic about our cause. A candidate must also be able to demonstrate:

  • Deep familiarity with First Amendment law and civil litigation procedures;
  • Extensive experience with strategic civil liberties or civil rights litigation (8+ years of litigation experience is strongly preferred);
  • Exceptional legal research and writing abilities;
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively with outside lawyers, current and potential plaintiffs, and witnesses;
  • Experience with students, faculty, or similar constituencies is helpful;
  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills;
  • Previous management experience;
  • Ability to be a team player;
  • Demonstrated ability to forge consensus and work productively across disciplines and viewpoints.

Candidates must be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school and a member of the bar of at least one state. If not already a member of the Pennsylvania bar, candidates must be willing to obtain licensure in Pennsylvania.

Salary and Compensation

Starting salary is negotiable and depends upon experience and education level. FIRE conducts periodic evaluations where employees may receive raises or bonuses for outstanding and excellent work. FIRE also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes employer-paid comprehensive health, dental, and life insurance; a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account option; matching retirement contributions; and a generous paid time-off plan.

Applications

Applicants should provide a resume, cover letter, a writing sample, salary requirements, and contact information for at least three professional references. All applications are confidential. Please address applications to Peyton Cudaback, Director of Human Resources. Applications can be emailed to hr@thefire.org.

FIRE is an equal opportunity employer.