Staff Attorney

This position is for an immediate opening and will be based in Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. FIRE operates on a hybrid work schedule that allows for a mix of in-the-office and remote work for eligible employees.

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This position is for an immediate opening and will be based in Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. FIRE operates on a hybrid work schedule that allows for a mix of in-the-office and remote work for eligible employees.

FIRE is expanding its litigation capabilities and is seeking full-time staff attorneys with at least three years of legal experience. The attorneys in this position will engage in strategic litigation on First Amendment issues to bring about real-world impact. In addition to litigating First Amendment cases in support of FIRE’s mission, FIRE staff attorneys defend free speech by advocating outside the courtroom through media appearances, writing, and public-speaking engagements.

Candidates should have exceptional research, critical thinking, writing, and communication skills, a demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced environment while balancing a full workload, and a strong commitment to public-interest litigation. Ideal candidates will have completed a federal judicial clerkship.

About FIRE

Founded in 1999, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought — the most essential qualities of liberty. Because colleges and universities play a vital role in preserving free thought within a free society, FIRE places a special emphasis on defending the individual rights of students and faculty members on our nation’s campuses. Please visit to gain a sense of our work and mission.

Job Responsibilities

Staff attorneys report to FIRE’s Vice President of Litigation and work collaboratively in a supportive team with other attorneys and staff across other FIRE departments.

Staff attorneys will be responsible for a variety of duties, including:

  • Analyzing cases for litigation potential 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 records requests.
  • Taking and defending depositions.
  • Arguing motions in court and participating in hearings, trials, and other proceedings.

In addition, staff attorneys are responsible for media appearances, public speaking, and educating the public on FIRE’s litigation efforts. This position will involve a substantial amount of travel, and work on weekends and evenings should be expected in accordance with the demands of litigation.


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. A candidate must have at least two years of civil-litigation experience and must also be able to demonstrate:

  • Exceptional legal research, critical thinking, and writing skills.
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to explain legal concepts to students and non-attorneys.
  • Excellent organizational and case-management skills, including meticulous attention to detail.
  • Extensive knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Exemplary planning skills, including an ability to handle dynamic and challenging situations.
  • A strong work ethic and demonstrated ability to work productively across disciplines and with people of differing views.
  • A desire to pursue a career in public-interest litigation.

Candidates must have graduated from an ABA accredited law school and be members of the bar of the jurisdiction in which they are based.

Salary and Compensation

Starting salary for this position is negotiable, commensurate with experience. 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 legal references. The cover letter should include when you are available to start and the location of the office where you are interested in working. The writing sample must reflect your own work, demonstrating your best legal analysis and writing abilities, with minimal editing by others. All applications are confidential. Please address applications to Cait Scanlan, Director of People Operations.

FIRE is an equal opportunity employer.