This position is for an immediate opening and will be based in Philadelphia or Washington, D.C.

FIRE is expanding its litigation capabilities and is seeking a full-time staff attorney with one or two years of legal experience to join its litigation team and represent students and professors at public colleges and universities to defend freedom of speech and conscience, due process, and academic freedom. This position is an excellent opportunity for new attorneys to use their law degree to engage in strategic litigation on First Amendment issues and bring about real-world impact.

Candidates should have exceptional research, writing, and communication skills, a demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced environment while balancing a heavy workload, and a strong commitment to public-interest litigation. The ideal candidate will have completed a federal judicial clerkship. 

About FIRE

Founded in 1999, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a dynamic, 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 to gain a sense of our work and mission.

Job Responsibilities 

The staff attorney will report to FIRE’s Vice President of Litigation, while also working daily with the Director of Litigation and other staff attorneys involved in litigation. Additionally, the staff attorney will correspond with other FIRE departments, external attorneys, students, and faculty.    

Staff attorneys are responsible for the following, but not limited to:

  • Analyzing potential litigation matters and developing cases;
  • Researching and drafting demand letters, pleadings, discovery requests and responses, motions, briefs, and other documents; 
  • Reviewing documents received in response to discovery and public record requests;
  • Taking and defending depositions; and
  • Arguing motions in court and participating in hearings, trials, and other proceedings.

In addition, the staff attorney will be responsible for media writing and appearances and public speaking. This position will involve a substantial amount of travel (after the current COVID-19 pandemic) and work on weekends and evenings should be expected.


Candidates 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. Ideal candidates will have had a federal judicial clerkship. A candidate must also be able to demonstrate:  

  • Exceptional legal research, writing, and communication skills, including the ability to explain complicated legal concepts to students and non-attorneys;
  • Excellent organizational and case management skills;
  • Knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;
  • Exemplary planning and organizational skills, including an ability to handle dynamic, challenging, and changing situations
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively across disciplines and viewpoints; and
  • Desire to pursue a career in public-interest litigation.

Candidates must be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school and a member of the bar of the jurisdiction in which they are based. 

Salary and Compensation

Starting salary for this position is negotiable and commensurate with experience and the government’s General Schedule (GS) payscales. FIRE conducts periodic evaluations where employees may receive raises or bonuses for outstanding and excellent work. FIRE also offers a superior benefits package that includes employer-paid comprehensive health, dental, vision, and life insurance; a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account option; matching retirement contributions; and a generous paid time-off plan.


Applicants should provide a resume, cover letter, approximately 10-page writing sample, and contact information for at least two references. The cover letter should include when you are available to start and the office location in which you are interested in. The writing sample must reflect the applicant’s own work, reflecting what you believe is your best legal analysis and writing abilities, with minimal editing by others. All applications are confidential. Please address applications to Peyton Cudaback, Director of Human Resources. Applications can be emailed to

FIRE is an equal opportunity employer.