475 Riverside Drive
The Knight First Amendment Institute works to preserve and expand the freedoms of speech and the press in the digital age through strategic litigation, research, and public education. We aim to be a generator of new ideas and a distinctive voice for these fundamental freedoms in public discourse and in the courts. Over time, we expect to tackle a wide range of issues, such as free speech on social media, net neutrality, government surveillance, intermediary liability, the rights of whistleblowers, the right of journalists to protect their sources, the right of citizens to record and broadcast police activity, encryption, machine speech, and institutional transparency. In all of our work, our aim is to promote a system of free expression that is open and inclusive, that broadens and elevates public discourse, and that fosters creativity, accountability, and democratic self-government.
Reporting to the Institute’s Director and Senior Staff Attorneys, the Staff Attorney will help conceive of and develop the Institute’s litigation docket, including by researching legal and factual questions, drafting research memos, working with clients and witnesses, drafting legal papers, and presenting oral argument.
The Staff Attorney will also contribute to the Institute’s strategic planning, help develop and administer the Institute’s research and public education programs, speak on behalf of the Institute to professional and academic audiences, and represent the Institute in the media. The Staff Attorney will have significant experience litigating cases involving the freedoms of speech and the press, government transparency, and new technology. The Staff Attorney must also have the judgment, initiative, creativity, flexibility, and energy required to help launch a high-profile and multi-faceted initiative at one of the world’s leading universities and to help ensure that the Institute operates efficiently and with the highest level of professionalism.
An internal candidate has been identified and has applied for this position; however, we are still accepting applications and will consider all qualified candidates.
1. Help conceive of and develop the Institute’s litigation docket, including by identifying cases and issues that warrant the Institute’s attention, researching legal and factual questions, drafting research memos, working with clients and witnesses, drafting legal papers, and presenting oral argument.
2. Assist the Director and other staff of the Institute in setting the Institute’s strategic direction, including by helping the Director determine the Institute’s substantive priorities and design and implement the Institute’s research and public education programs.
3. Speak on behalf of the Institute to professional and academic audiences; write in a variety of formats (including in blog posts, op-eds, and white papers) for both legal and non-legal audiences about issues relating to the Institute’s work; and represent the Institute in the media.
4. Supervise legal fellows and interns.
5. Cultivate and manage relationships with the Institute’s partners inside and outside the Columbia University community.
6. Travel as required for litigation, conferences, and speaking engagements.
Position-Specific Minimum Qualifications
The Staff Attorney must have a J.D. or equivalent, be admitted to the New York bar (or be in a position to gain admission to the New York bar quickly), and have at least three years of relevant experience as a lawyer, including experience in cases involving the freedoms of speech and the press, government transparency, and new technology. Applicants should have excellent communication skills, both oral and written; excellent analytical skills; and the temperament and skills necessary to supervise other lawyers.
Preference will be given to candidates who have experience dealing with the media; to candidates who have experience presenting oral argument; to candidates who have experience supervising other lawyers; and to candidates who have strong relationships with organizations that the Institute is likely to partner with—media organizations, technology companies, and civil liberties organizations.
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter through the Columbia University jobs site at https://jobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=170346. Applications will be accepted through July 27, 2018.