Litigation Fellow

Philadelphia, PA
Full Time
Entry Level

Litigation Fellow 

 This position 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 is seeking a full-time Litigation Fellow for a one-year fellowship starting in September 2024. The Litigation Fellow will assist the Litigation department in bringing First Amendment lawsuits in support of FIRE’s mission. This is an excellent opportunity for new attorneys to engage in strategic litigation and advocacy 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 full workload; a strong commitment to public-interest litigation; and a demonstrated interest in freedom of expression. Ideal candidates will have completed a federal judicial clerkship. The opportunity to extend the fellowship or promote the Fellow will be evaluated throughout the one-year term. Please note that there is no guarantee that this Fellowship extends beyond the year.  

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 

The Litigation Fellow will report to FIRE’s Vice President of Litigation, while working daily with members of the Litigation team. Additionally, the Litigation Fellow will work with other FIRE programs, external attorneys, students, faculty, and potential clients.   

 The Litigation Fellow’s duties will include:

  • Identifying and analyzing potential cases for litigation.
  • Researching and drafting memoranda, advocacy and demand letters, pleadings, discovery requests and responses, motions, briefs, and other documents. 
  • Filing and tracking open records requests as necessary for evaluating cases for litigation.
  • Assisting attorneys in conducting discovery, including assisting with taking and defending depositions.
  • Participating in court conferences, hearings, and other court proceedings.
  • Blogging about cases of interest.
  • Drafting and editing media releases and other public commentary.

This position will involve a moderate amount of travel, 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 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 and challenging situations. 
  • A demonstrated ability to work productively across disciplines and viewpoints.
  • A commitment 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. 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 your preferred office location. The writing sample must reflect your own work, demonstrating your best legal analysis and writing abilities, with minimal editing by others. 

Candidates who 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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