May 10, 2023

Associate Counsel – Defense of Freedom Institute – Virtual Office or Washington, DC Area

Defense of Freedom Institute
May 10, 2023
Virtual Office or Washington, DC Area, United States of America
Job Type


Associate Counsel

Defense of Freedom Institute

Virtual Office or Washington, DC Area

About DFI:

The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI) is searching for a thoughtful, imaginative attorney to help us defend freedom, liberty, and equality in America’s schools and workplaces. This position will report to DFI’s Senior Counsel, Litigation.

DFI envisions a republic where freedom and innovation flourish in our nation’s schools and workplaces, so that all Americans have equal opportunities to learn and work, liberated from undue regulatory burdens, bureaucracy, and discriminatory practices.

We strongly believe in the visionary principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the great civil rights legislation of the twentieth century—that all persons are born free and created equal with inalienable rights;  that the central government should be limited to secure those freedoms and rights;  that the Constitution and the nation’s laws are color blind and rest on the principle of  nondiscrimination; and that all persons should have the freedom to worship and choose the education, work, and life that is best for them.

We fight for the public good by limiting the power of federal agencies, bureaucrats, and teachers unions, expanding opportunities for families, communities, and States, and ensuring the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans.


  • Under the supervision of DFI’s senior counsel, conduct discovery, including taking depositions, drafting interrogatories, and drafting document production requests
  • Conduct legal research; draft letters, pleadings, motions, and briefs
  • Handle appearances for court conferences and hearings; and motions and appeals
  • Monitor federal guidance and rulemaking activity, with particular regard to education, workforce, and civil rights matters
  • Research and draft comments to submit in response to proposed agency regulations in which DFI has an interest
  • Research and draft amicus briefs and related motions in cases in which DFI has an interest
  • Research, write, edit, and otherwise prepare papers on legal and policy issues of interest regarding education law and policy
  • Work with DFI’s communications team to develop media strategies that amplify DFI’s legal work and oversight efforts, such as through drafting editorials, blog posts, talking points, and other public education materials in support of DFI’s mission

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 1-3 years of legal experience
  • A passionate commitment, high energy, and genuine enthusiasm for DFI’s mission, vision, and principles and a strong desire to serve the public good
  • Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school
  • Strong academic background
  • Active admission to the bar of the District of Columbia with good standing (For strong candidates, DFI may consider candidates admitted to other jurisdictions but will require successful applicants to obtain admission to the D.C. bar in the event he or she is not already admitted.)
  • Strong legal writing and research skills
  • Litigation experience, particularly in federal courts
  • Excellent fact discovery, legal research, writing, editing, and oral advocacy skills
  • Excellent verbal communications skills, with an ability to provide effective legal advice on tight deadlines
  • Collegiality, a strong work ethic, sound judgment, and a commitment to professionalism, ethics, and civility
  • Strong time-management skills, with attention to detail, including the ability to multi-task, juggle competing demands, and meet deadlines

Preferred Qualifications:

Although not required, an ideal candidate will also have some or all of the following qualifications:

  • Federal district and/or appellate clerkship experience
  • Knowledge of some or all of the following areas: free speech, religious liberty, and equal protection matters; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and/or the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
  • Experience in Freedom of Information Act matters (or similar state records request laws)
  • Knowledge of the Administrative Procedure Act and federal rulemaking requirements and procedures
  • Experience working in a nonprofit or federal department or agency
  • Experience handling cases that garner media attention
  • Experience writing op-eds, blog posts, and the like


This position can be based in a virtual office in the US although there is a preference for candidates residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Some travel and weekend or evening work may be required. Salary is commensurate with experience. The remote candidate will need to travel to Washington, DC 4 times a year for in-person meetings.

DFI is an equal opportunity employer.


Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, interest in DFI’s mission, and listing your bar and court admissions
  • At least one legal writing sample

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:

There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.

Questions can be directed to Katelynn Barbosa, Director of Talent Engagement, at Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: [email protected]

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide consulting and recruiting services at no cost to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that clearly and directly focus on advancing the principles of economic freedom, free enterprise, free trade, free speech, property rights, rule of law, and limited regulation.

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