First Look MediaNew York, NY
Full Time Job
The Managing Attorney will be employed by First Look Institute and report to the Press Freedom Defense Fund Legal Director and the Vance Center Executive Director. The Managing Attorney will manage the legal practice of the program in all areas: outreach to press and reporters organizations to present the availability of legal services; intake of new clients; determination of legal needs; communication with clients and law firms providing pro bono co-counseling; coordination with law firms regarding legal services provided; provision of legal advice and representation of clients; maintenance of up-to-date and accurate matter management systems; supervising staff attorneys, the program manager, and other staff; assisting in seeking financial support for the program from foundations, law firms, and individuals, in coordination with fundraising staff; and other appropriately related projects/duties assigned.
Background & Qualifications:
At least 5-6 years of legal practice specializing in media and/or journalism preferred
Law degree, with additional education or specialization in media and/or journalism preferred
Admission to practice law in New York or qualification to waive into the jurisdiction
Experience and/or general knowledge of U.S. journalism, with focus on local and start-up journalism preferred
Experience and/or general knowledge of the U.S. legal market, with focus on pro bono legal services preferred
Experience with developing and/or managing professional networks and/or other forms of collaboration is a plus
Experience with nonprofit fundraising, including grant writing, as well as nonprofit management, including governance, compliance, budgeting, and staff supervision is a plus
Demonstrable ability to work independently, present effectively in writing and orally, manage a fast-paced, complex set of short and long-term tasks, and report to a board or advisory committee
Authorization to work in the United States
Lawyers for Reporters is a program providing pro bono legal services to nonprofit and local news reporting organizations throughout the United States. The program, which began in March 2020, is a collaboration between The Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar Fund and First Look Institute's Press Freedom Defense Fund. Lawyers for Reporters assists early-stage local journalism organizations nationwide. Clients include print and online publishers, radio, television and Internet content providers, photographers, documentarians, videographers, and cinematographers, as well as investigative, advocacy, and academic publishers of public interest content. The strategic goal of Lawyers for Reporters is ensuring that no reporters needing legal support will be turned down because of financial constraints.
Lawyers for Reporters provides the full range of advice and representation that reporters and news organizations need. Newsroom services include pre-publication review, newsgathering liability advice, demand letter responses, subpoena defense, intellectual property licensing, and dispute resolution. Other services include corporate, real estate, employment, exempt organizations, and taxation advice. Lawyers for Reporters specializes in advising clients regarding re-organization from for-profit to nonprofit status and in establishing and managing subscriber/membership programs. To provide these services, it has developed and relies on a network of law firms that co-counsel with the Lawyers for Reporters team. In addition to direct legal services, the program provides training and capacity building through collaboration with partner organizations and technical specialists.
Lawyers for Reporters is building a staff of experienced lawyers with significant media and corporate law experience, lawyers with experience at media law clinics and post-graduate fellowships, a pro bono manager, a fundraising consultant, and administrative personnel. Based on the successful model of the Vance Center, the staff works in tandem with lawyers at dozens of law firms around the country in various areas of expertise engaged on a pro bono basis. An advisory committee is in formation to oversee the strategic and programmatic work of the program.
About The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice
The Vance Center advances global justice by engaging lawyers across borders to support civil society and an ethically active legal profession. The Vance Center is a unique collaboration of international lawyers catalyzing public interest innovation. A non-profit program of the New York City Bar Association, we bring together leading law firms and other partners worldwide to pioneer international justice initiatives and provide pro bono legal representation to social justice NGOs.
About The Press Freedom Defense Fund
The Press Freedom Defense Fund is a program of First Look Institute that provides essential legal support for journalists, news organizations, and whistleblowers who are targeted by governments, corporations, or other powerful figures because they have tried to bring to light information that is in the public interest and necessary for a functioning democracy. The Fund also provides legal resources for operational needs of reporters and news organizations through Lawyers for Reporters, and provides training and education programs to an array of journalists, lawyers, and nonprofit organizations.
The Press Freedom Defense Fund fearlessly and relentlessly dedicates itself to protecting the First Amendment. Free speech should be regarded as a right, investigative reporting a duty, and whistleblowing an act of bravery.
The Press Freedom Defense Fund Advisory Committee includes Jameel Jaffer, Tom Rosenstiel, Sandy Rowe, Dave Schulz, and Nabiha Syed.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.