SPLC Seeking Staff Attorney

About the Student Press Law Center:

The Student Press Law Center (“SPLC”) is an independent, nonpartisan 501c(3) organization based in Washington, D.C. which works at the intersection of law, journalism and education to promote, support and defend the First Amendment rights of student journalists at the high school and college level. Founded in 1974, the Student Press Law Center has a free legal hotline which serves thousands of student journalists and advisers across the United States. Thanks to a solid endowment, growing foundation support and generous individual donors, we also engage in training, advocacy and outreach to empower student journalists, promote the value of journalism education and spotlight the need to ensure legal protections for student press freedom through the New Voices movement. As an organization, we embrace change and encourage innovation while building a dynamic and creative workplace. For more information on SPLC’s mission, history and vision, visit splc.org and @splc. 

Position Summary:

SPLC is seeking a staff attorney with a passion for press freedom and defending the First Amendment rights of student journalists. We are looking for someone who has a love of the law and can think creatively and strategically about how to use the law to protect and promote student press freedom. In addition to staffing the free legal hotline, conducting training and developing website resources, the staff attorney will spearhead follow-up and strategic advocacy efforts around censorship and implementation of New Voices legislation. This follow-up and strategic advocacy work is an expanding area of emphasis for SPLC, which will ensure that state-based student press freedom laws are implemented as intended. The staff attorney will work in close partnership and report to the senior legal counsel and will also work in close cooperation with the communications and advocacy teams. 

Responsibilities:

  • Answer legal hotline inquiries in a timely manner, in-person and via email, in coordination with legal team. 
  • Conduct legal research and write opinion letters where appropriate. 
  • Spearhead strategic advocacy re: censorship cases in collaboration with advocacy and communications teams. 
  • Provide legal assistance for New Voices implementation strategy. 
  • Assist advocacy department with policy proposals, review of pending legislation or regulations which affect student press freedom. 
  • Testify at legislative hearings. 
  • Provide training on media law and student press freedom issues, in-person and online. 
  • Update written materials and develop new legal resources for SPLC website. 
  • Serve as subject-matter expert and thought leader in student press law and press freedom, including media interviews and speaking engagements. 
  • Represent SPLC in the community with a high level of enthusiasm, professionalism, and integrity. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Qualifications: 

  • At least 3 years of demonstrated experience in media law and First Amendment issues. 
  • Love of the law and creative thinking about how to use the law to protect and promote student press freedom. 
  • Superior writing, editing, and verbal communication skills. 
  • Superior legal research skills. 
  • Strategic litigation experience (strongly preferred) 
  • A strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently. 
  • High energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels. 
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, partner organizations, directors, program participants, and other supporters 
  • Compelling and articulate public speaker. 
  • Self-starter, able to work independently. 
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office Suite required. 
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to and passion for SPLC’s mission 
  • A demonstrated commitment to contributing meaningfully to a workplace where equity and inclusion are core values. 
  • Ability and willingness to work some nights and weekends 
  • Ability and willingness to travel nationally approximately 25% of the time, when travel resumes (including overnight and some weekends) 
  • Active bar license in good standing. 

Compensation:

Dependent on experience, credentials and qualifications. 

Location:

Currently all remote. Office is based in Washington D.C. 

To Apply:

Please send cover letter and resume detailing your relevant experience and any relevant qualifications which would not be obvious from your resume. Please include two references and any online links to your work. Please send all materials to Alexis Mason, SPLC Outreach and Operations Associate at amason@splc.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

The Student Press Law Center strives to achieve excellence through a diverse and inclusive workplace that honors the unique talents and lived experiences of each person. We actively seek people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work. As an EOE/AA employer, the Student Press Law Center will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, veteran or disability status or any other factor prohibited by law.