Senior Communications Associate

Job Type

Full Time




Details: Salary commensurate with experience. Generous benefits package includes excellent medical coverage, retirement and paid leave.




750 North Lake Shore Drive
4th floor
United States


The American Bar Foundation (ABF), the nation’s leading research institute for the empirical study of law seeks a creative, enthusiastic, and driven communications professional to add to its communications staff.

This position is responsible for assisting in the creation and dissemination of content to news media, funders, the academy, and other stakeholders. This position will have a direct impact on the elevation of the American Bar Foundation’s brand visibility to its stakeholders and to the general public. This position reports to the Director of Communications, Development, and Operations, and can expect to take direction from the Director of the Foundation. This position also works cooperatively with members of the communications, development and academic affairs staff. Chiefly this position will work closely with current communications associate in sharing of related duties; this position will also assume primary responsibility for two key areas: compiling the ABF Annual Report, and publicist function.

This position is highly responsible and depends on maintaining confidentiality and discretion in all areas of foundation business.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Compile the ABF Annual Report – primary
  • Serve publicist function by cultivating members of the legal and mainstream news media to regularly report on ABF research findings- primary
  • Assist faculty with preparation and submission of Op-eds as requested
  • Co-write and co-edit Researching Law, ABF’s quarterly print newsletter
  • Draft press releases disseminating ABF research findings and news of institutional events (share duties with current communications associate)
  • Build and maintain press lists and communications files
  • Serve as co- content manager of the ABF website:
  • Co-manage main ABF social media
  • Create quarterly e-newsletter and project-specific e-blasts (share duties with current communications associate)
  • Create “one-pager” digests of ABF signature research projects to assist ABF leadership in communicating the institution’s value to stakeholders and potential stakeholders (share duties with current communications associate)
  • Work with Communications and Development team members to provide input on all written institutional materials in both print and digital formats
  • Track analytics on impact of ABF media penetration and website traffic
  • Assist in creating special events to highlight ABF research, book launches, conferences, etc.
  • Assist in creation of video content
  • Assist in webinar creation and dissemination
  • Communications-related duties as assigned


 Knowledge and Skills:

  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to master and translate the institution’s complex research projects and programs to enlightened lay audiences
  • Ability to quickly comprehend a wide range of issues at the intersection of law and society
  • Demonstrated ability to craft cogent and effective press releases
  • Strong editing and proofreading skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and to meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of communications information sources
  • Strong contributor in team environments
  • Entrepreneurial nature; creative thinker
  • Proficiency with mass marketing/communications utilities: Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite: Word, PowerPoint, Excel
  • Some basic graphic design experience helpful
  • Must be reliable and punctual and understand standard operating office procedures


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher required, preferably in Journalism or Communications
  • Proficiency in AP-style writing
  • Experience working in deadline-driven environments
  • Ability to work well in a team environment, handle multiple assignments and meet deadlines
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with elite scholars from a wide range of law and social science disciplines.
  • Demonstrated self-starter
  • Preference for candidates with 3-5 years of work experience, including managing other communications associates, and supporting an institutional communications strategy in print and digital media
  • Must be able to work out of the Chicago, IL office

Salary range:

Commensurate with experience


Generous benefits package includes excellent medical coverage, retirement and paid leave.


Application process:

Send cover letter, resume, writing samples, and names of three references to:

The Organization:

Located in Chicago, IL, the American Bar Foundation is a non-profit, independent national research institute committed to empirical research on law, legal institutions and legal processes. The American Bar Foundation seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally.



Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Send cover letter, resume, writing samples, and names of three references to:

EEO Policy

The ABF is firmly committed to providing equal employment opportunities. All decisions regarding the terms, privileges, and/or conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, classification, grading, recruitment, discharge, discipline, compensation, selection for training or apprenticeship, promotion, renewal of employment, tenure or terms, and benefits, will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, housing status, parental status, source of income, certain arrest or criminal history records, genetic information, protected activity (such as opposition to or reporting of prohibited discrimination or harassment), or any other status or classification protected by applicable federal, state, and/or local laws. The ABF prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of individuals on any of the bases listed above and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.