Philadelphia, PA
Full Time
Mid Level

This position is for an immediate opening and will be based in either Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 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. Fully remote work will not be considered for this position.

FIRE seeks a talented, highly organized paralegal with at least three years of experience to support all phases of our strategic litigation defending First Amendment rights. FIRE paralegals have meaningful responsibilities with real-world impact: By helping attorneys win cases, they protect First Amendment rights for all Americans.

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 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

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

Paralegals are responsible for a variety of duties, including:

  • Assisting attorneys in factual investigation of potential cases.
  • Managing court filings and proper service, including reading and interpreting court rules to ensure compliance with applicable rules.
  • Managing the litigation calendar by calculating, calendaring, and tracking dates for hearings and deadlines for all court filings in assigned cases.
  • Organizing and maintaining paper and electronic case files.
  • Preparing summonses, motions, declarations, and proposed orders.
  • Preparing tables of content and authorities, cite checking, and proofreading legal briefs and other documents.
  • Assisting attorneys with discovery.
  • Managing preparation and logistics for depositions, pretrial hearings, court conferences, and trials.
  • Managing public-records requests.
  • Updating the Litigation department’s “FIRE in the Courts” webpage.

Work on weekends and evenings may be expected in accordance with the demands of litigation.


Three or more years of paralegal experience in civil litigation are required. Additionally, well-qualified candidates will possess:

  • Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to juggle multiple assignments with efficiency and excellence.
  • Sharp attention to detail.
  • Expertise in cite-checking and proofreading legal documents.
  • Expertise in Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and related programs.
  • Expertise in LexisNexis, WestLaw, and other legal research services.
  • Expertise in preparing legal documents for filing and service in federal courts, including expertise in PACER and ECF.
  • Proficiency in preparing legal documents for filing and service in state courts.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, including but not limited to phone and email courtesy and an ability to properly manage sensitive information to maintain the confidence of clients.
  • Knowledge of FIRE’s mission and a willingness to advocate for that mission.

Experience with Net Documents, Rocket Matter, or is a plus.

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 health, dental, 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, salary requirements, and contact information for at least two legal references. The cover letter should include the date when you are available to start and the location of the office where you are interested in working.

Candidates that advance to second-round interviews are required to perform a practical exercise.

All applications are confidential.

Please address applications to Cait Scanlan, Director of People Operations.

FIRE is an equal opportunity employer.


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