Democracy Forward is seeking a Senior Legal Fellow to help carry out its mission to promote pro-democracy and progressive policies and ideals. This is a one-year position (with possibility of extension) designed for attorneys interested in gaining experience in a mission-driven, not-for-profit legal advocacy organization.  The Fellow will support the work of Democracy Forward’s legal and research teams.  

The ideal candidate will have experience with:

  • State or federal litigation, including investigating and researching potential claims, drafting complaints, briefs, and supporting documents, and participating in hearings and arguments
  • Legal research and writing on emerging constitutional and legal policy issues
  • Policy and advocacy at the federal or state level on issues that promote a strong, inclusive, and just democracy  
  • The litigation process, including case development.  

Job duties include the following:

  • Provide legal analysis of emerging legal doctrines and cases
  • Draft policy papers, interested parties memos, op-eds and other products that explain complicated legal issues for a broad range of audiences 
  • Support Democracy Forward’s legal  and policy tracking efforts on educational equity and other priority legal areas through case review and assessment
  • Conduct research and develop cases in conjunction with oversight and other public records related work.  
  • Monitor relevant policy issues to identify instances where Democracy Forward should consider getting involved in litigation (either affirmative litigation or as an amicus or intervenor) or in regulatory advocacy.
  • Contribute affirmatively to a workplace culture of inclusion and equity. 

Qualifications – You are encouraged to apply if you have any combination of these skills. 

  • J.D. from an accredited law school
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience  
  • Demonstrated excellence in performing legal research and drafting legal documents (including court filings such as complaints, dispositive motions, and appeals, and/or regulatory filings such as comments and petitions for rulemaking), in a professional, timely, and self-directed manner. 
  • A record of clear, persuasive, well-organized  legal writing 
  • Experience communicating complicated legal issues to diverse audiences
  • Familiarity with legal doctrines applicable to litigation and/or regulatory advocacy involving federal and/or state governments. Experience with the federal and state Administrative Procedure Acts is a plus.
  • Experience developing affirmative litigation in state and/or federal courts, including researching potential theories, developing potential clients, and building factual records. 
  • Experience working independently and having primary responsibility for matters.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully on a team of attorney and staff professionals in a relatively flat hierarchical structure. 
  • Ability to handle multiple concurrent assignments and meet deadlines; must be able to work well both independently and in a team environment
  • Ability to become proficient in new issue areas and contribute to creative, rigorous, analytical approaches to address them.
  • Well-developed collaborative and interpersonal skills including demonstrated self-awareness, commitment to diversity and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds. 
  • Commitment to workplace inclusion and ability to contribute affirmatively to a just and equitable workplace culture. 
Apply here.

Democracy Forward provides a competitive compensation and benefits package. The salary range for Senior Legal Fellow is $110,000 – $120,000, based on years of relevant experience and seniority. Democracy Forward is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals. We strongly encourage people of color; lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities; and veterans to apply. 

Meet some but not all of our qualifications? Don’t let that deter you from applying. If you believe that you could excel in our organization and believe in our mission, we hope you apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you are new to non-profit or legal work, returning to work after a gap in employment, looking to transition from another field, or taking the next step in your career path, we hope to hear from you. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in our work and what you would bring to the role for which you are applying.