Full Time Job
Ishiyama Transparency in Government Legal Fellow
Across our organization, we’re building a workplace where collaboration is essential, diverse voices are heard, and inclusion is the key to our success.
NPR seeks an outstanding recent law school graduate with an interest in First Amendment and media law to serve as its Ishiyama Transparency in Government Legal Fellow. Under the guidance of NPR staff lawyers, the Legal Fellow works with NPR journalists to obtain access to public records that shed light on the operations of government. The Legal Fellow will help reporters craft requests for records under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state public records laws, appeal inappropriate denials, request access to court records, and work with NPR staff lawyers and outside counsel in litigating FOIA, state public records act, and court-access cases. Time permitting, the Legal Fellow may also assist NPR staff lawyers on other media law matters, such as reviewing amicus briefs, pre-publication review, counseling reporters on newsgathering, copyright, and First Amendment issues, defending content-related suits, and negotiating content-related agreements.
This is a full-time, 2-year fellowship that will begin in August or early September of 2022. The Legal Fellow will be paid $75,000 per year, plus benefits, including paid vacation.
• Work with NPR journalists to request access to records under the federal Freedom of Information Act and state public records laws;
• Work with NPR staff attorneys and outside counsel to prepare appeals from inappropriate denials of such requests;
• Track federal FOIA and state public records requests and appeals across the NPR newsroom and the newsrooms of NPR Member stations engaged with NPR in collaborative reporting projects;
• Work with NPR staff attorneys and outside counsel to pursue FOIA, state public records act, and court-access litigation, and, time permitting, to defend content-related lawsuits against NPR and NPR journalists;
• Conduct legal research and advise NPR legal colleagues and reporters on FOIA, state public records act, court-access, and other media law issues;
• Prepare memoranda, presentations, and other materials for internal and external audiences; and
• Prepare training materials and work with staff lawyers and newsroom leaders to train journalists in effective use of FOIA and state public records laws.
• Outstanding academic credentials, including a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school earned by June 2022; and
• Bar membership in good standing in the District of Columbia, or eligibility to waive into the DC bar, by January 2023.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree and J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school earned by June 2022 required.
• Demonstrated interest in, and knowledge of, the federal Freedom of Information Act, state public records laws, court-access law, and media law, generally;
• Superb oral and written communications skills, high ethical and professional standards, a commitment to journalism, and good judgment; and
• Strong organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects, to set and adjust priorities, and to work under pressure.
All applications must include a resume and cover letter to be considered.
NPR is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NPR is committed to being an inclusive workplace that welcomes diverse and unique perspectives, all working toward the same goal – to create a more informed public. Qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, religion, religious belief, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, lactation, and reproductive health decisions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, transgender status, gender non-conforming status, intersex status, sexual stereotypes, nationality, citizenship status, personal appearance, marital status, family status, family responsibilities, military status, veteran status, mental and physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, genetic characteristics of yourself or a family member, political views and affiliation, unemployment status, protective order status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or any other basis prohibited under applicable law.