The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Center for Individual Rights Looking for Individual Rights Litigator


I've long followed and much admired CIR's work; Rosenberger v. Rector (free speech) and U.S. v. Morrison (federalism) are two prominent examples over the years, but you can see some of their other cases here. (I'm also one of their occasional academic advisors.) They're hiring, and I thought I'd pass along the details:

The Individual Rights Litigator with three or more years of active trial and appellate litigation experience (including any judicial clerkships) will channel his or her passion for advancing individual liberty, deep knowledge of constitutional law, and entrepreneurial skills to help develop and execute litigation strategies in service of CIR's mission, identify specific opportunities for consequential litigation, assist with client development and case filings, and advance the subsequent litigation docket with other litigators inside and outside of CIR. In short, the Individual Rights Litigator will help incubate, execute, and win major landmark victories that defend or advance individual liberties.

The Individual Rights Litigator will report primarily to CIR's Litigation Director and work with CIR's General Counsel to advance CIR's litigation practice areas, which include complex anti-discrimination reforms, free speech and privacy cases, and especially its Project to Restore Competitive Federalism. The Individual Rights Litigator will work closely with the Litigation Director to expand CIR's docket and work primarily on the new cases he or she helps develop.

In that role, the Individual Rights Litigator will work with other CIR staff, outside cooperating attorneys, law professors, CIR's clients, and prospective clients. The right candidate is interested in all aspects of the public interest law enterprise and is a creative and constructive change agent to help CIR continually improve and increase its impact in a competitive environment.

Over time, the Individual Rights Litigator will be expected to serve as a CIR spokesperson on select cases and related substantive matters with the press, in coalition gatherings, and in academic settings. In sum, the Individual Rights Litigator will not only develop and win individual landmark cases but will also set the stage for even greater victories through publications, media appearances, public advocacy, and coalition building, and serve as a sought-after national spokesperson for individual rights.

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Three or more years of active trial and appellate practice (including judicial clerkships), with a meaningful record of advancement. Experience in public interest law is a strong plus.
  • A demonstrated passion for promoting individual liberty and a deep understanding of its constitutional foundations.
  • Exceptional legal writing and editing skills, plus the ability to write persuasively for both public and legal audiences in law reviews, op-eds, and online publications.
  • A collaborative spirit, leavened with sense of humor to challenge government malefactors in a relentless and disciplined manner but without forgetting the bright side of life.
  • A willingness to travel for client and case development, litigation appearances, and other institutional purposes.

General Information:

The Center for Individual Rights' mission has a nationwide focus. We select individual cases to set constitutional precedents that have broad applications. CIR has also positively influenced public policy and general public discourse.

CIR's headquarters are in DC, but we have embraced some flexible and hybrid work arrangements. The ideal candidate would be able to work out of CIR's DC office on a regular schedule. Fully remote work, or nearly so, may be possible for exceptional candidates. The amount of time the Individual Rights Litigator will need to spend in the DC office depends on a variety of factors and is subject to individual discussion.

This is a full-time, permanent position. CIR is an equal opportunity employer that provides a generous compensation package that includes a competitive salary, premium medical and dental insurance, employer-paid retirement contributions, and other attractive benefits. CIR takes pride in its employees and encourages continuous professional growth, a meaningful personal and family life, and the pursuit of other intellectual and creative endeavors.

To Apply:

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

  • A cover letter explaining why you meet each of the qualifications listed above, why you want a career suing the government in the defense of liberty, and what sets you apart from other applicants, especially with regard to your strategic ability to advance CIR's mission;
  • Your resume, including your educational and professional experience and a list of publications.

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link: