January 9, 2019

Policy Fellow

Institute for Justice - Clinic on Entrepreneurship
January 9, 2019
Chicago, Illinois
Job Type


The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School seeks a bright and dedicated person to join our team as a Policy Fellow. Part of the Institute for Justice, the national law firm for liberty, the IJ Clinic provides free legal assistance for low-income entrepreneurs in Chicago and advocates for legal reforms so that entrepreneurs in Chicago have the freedom to pursue their dreams. For example, the IJ Clinic has successfully advocated to legalize food carts, to simplify the permit process for business signs, and to lighten the regulatory burdens for children’s play centers, computer centers, and home-based businesses.

The IJ Clinic seeks to expand its capacity for policy advocacy by adding a fellow to our team who is dedicated exclusively to supporting the IJ Clinic’s policy work. The Policy Fellow will work closely with the IJ Clinic’s two supervising attorneys and community relations coordinator to support and guide the IJ Clinic’s policy endeavors at both the city and state level.

This is an exciting opportunity to help guide the future of the IJ Clinic’s advocacy efforts through policy research and to provide our projects with the ammunition we need to change the laws that create unnecessary barriers for entrepreneurs. The fellow will have the chance to collaborate and learn from accomplished activists, strategic researchers, and legislative advocates throughout the Institute for Justice, while helping to lead policy research and work in Chicago and Illinois. The position demands someone who is hard-working, self-motivated, and entrepreneurial, has strong writing and analytical skills, and can communicate well with community members, attorneys, and policymakers. The ideal candidate will have a deep commitment to the IJ Clinic’s mission and the importance of economic liberty and economic development.

Job duties

The Policy Fellow will:

  • Identify opportunities for policy advocacy that further the IJ Clinic’s mission
  • Research identified policy matters, provide support for attorney writing and clinic advocacy, draft legislation and accompanying correspondence, draft outreach materials for policy matters
  • Monitor city and state legislative activity in areas of interest, monitor small business and entrepreneurship reform efforts across the country
  • Meet with legislative and administrative leaders to form and maintain relationships
  • Contribute to grassroots strategy development and recommend solutions that solve complex problems
  • As a key member of our small team, the Policy Fellow will also have a significant opportunity to influence decisions about the policy work that the IJ Clinic takes on—from topic selection to advocacy strategy. There may also be opportunities to lead an advocacy effort, if of interest to the Policy Fellow.

Opportunities include:

  • Access to attorneys, activists, and researchers engaged in advocacy for economic liberty
  • Development of laws and proposals to advance entrepreneurship and economic liberty
  • Media publication
  • Writing mentorship
  • Networking opportunities

Length of Fellowship. The duration of the Policy Fellowship is flexible, preference will be given to people who prefer a two-year fellowship.  Shorter terms will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with a minimum of six months required.

Qualifications. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply. Candidates should possess exceptional research and writing skills, have excellent interpersonal skills, be attentive to detail, have a substantial background in policy (through curriculum or practice), have a record of demonstrated initiative and leadership, and have a strong commitment to individual freedom and economic liberty. Experience, professional or otherwise, with advocacy work and community outreach is a plus, but not necessary. College degree required, relevant masters or graduate degree preferred.

This position reports to the IJ Clinic Director and Associate Director.

To apply for the fellowship, please visit IJ's employment opportunities page and submit your resume as well as a cover letter detailing your qualifications and interest in the position. We hire on a rolling basis and the deadline to apply is January 28th, 2019.

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