Free Speech For People To Hire Staff Attorney and Honors Fellow

Jeffrey Clements Posted by Jeffrey Clements.

Jeffrey Clements is a cofounder and general counsel of Free Speech for People, a national, nonpartisan campaign to oppose corporate personhood and pass the People’s Rights Amendment.


Free Speech For People, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization, was founded on the day of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v.

Free Speech For People, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization, was founded on the day of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision. We’re working to get big money out of politics and to push back against corporations claiming constitutional rights to disregard federal, state, and local laws.  We have built an effective and widely-supported campaign for a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United and the Court’s 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, restore democracy to the people, and advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all.

We have worked, via our Legal Advocacy Program, to push back in the courts against the doctrine of unlimited campaign spending and the fabrication of corporate constitutional rights; to press for accountability through corporate charter reform and other such measures at the state level; and to serve as a key legal resource for the constitutional amendment movement.

We are collaborating with Represent.Us, a national non-partisan campaign to pass tough anti-corruption laws in cities and states across America, and end the legalized corruption that has come to define modern politics. Represent.Us chapters create real, non-partisan, grassroots political power from the bottom up.

We are seeking to hire a public interest lawyer, preferably with campaign finance and/or election law experience, for a joint project by two cutting-edge non-profits, Free Speech For People and Represent.Us.

We are also seeking candidates to fill our 2016 Democracy Honors Fellowship, a two-year fellowship that gives an entry-level lawyer an unparalleled opportunity to play a critical role in the nationwide amendment movement. The 2016-2018 Democracy Honors Fellow will report to Free Speech For People’s Legal Director (Ron Fein), based in Newton, Massachusetts (just outside Boston).

Staff Attorney

Job Duties
The position is focused on researching, drafting, and defending legislation.

The Counsel’s focus will be legal support for Represent.Us’s state and local ballot initiative campaigns. These campaigns build on the momentum from the Tallahassee, Florida anti-corruption initiative to develop cutting-edge electoral politics reforms that overhaul ethics, transparency, enforcement and campaign finance law. Specific tasks will include:

  • Working closely with Represent.Us and its local chapters on legal strategy
  • Evaluating jurisdictions for campaign viability
  • Drafting and reviewing proposed legislation and ballot initiatives
  • Advising advocates on fast-moving legal issues that arise
  • Lobbying or testifying in support
  • Defending legislation against legal challenge

The Counsel for the Democracy Program will report to Free Speech For People’s Legal Director (Ron Fein), based in Newton, MA. The position will require occasional travel to Represent.Us’s headquarters in Northampton, MA, and to campaign locations around the country.

Qualifications

  • J.D. and membership in good standing in a state bar
  • 2+ years experience, preferably including:
    • campaign finance and/or election law
    • both legislation and litigation
    • state and/or local government law
  • Dedication to public interest work
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills
  • Ability to work independently in an entrepreneurial, startup nonprofit environment

Location
Free Speech For People’s Legal Advocacy office is in Newton, MA, just outside Boston.

Application Instructions
Send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and (if <5 years experience) law school transcript to Oske Buckley at [email protected]

For more information, click here.

Democracy Honors Fellowship

Position Description
The Democracy Honors Fellowship is a two-year fellowship that gives an entry-level lawyer an unparalleled opportunity to play a critical role in the nationwide amendment movement. The 2016-2018 Democracy Honors Fellow will report to Free Speech For People’s Legal Director (Ron Fein), based in Newton, Massachusetts (just outside Boston). This is an outstanding opportunity for a graduating 3L or current judicial clerk who is interested in getting big money out of politics and reclaiming democracy.

The Democracy Honors Fellow will have three main areas of focus:

  1. Support local organizing and amendment resolutions. Our constitutional amendment strategy is ground-up: we’re building grassroots support at the state and local level. So far, sixteen states and more than 660 cities and towns have passed resolutions, either through their legislatures or by popular ballot initiative, endorsing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. The Democracy Honors Fellow will work closely to provide legal support to local, state, and national citizens’ groups proposing pro-amendment resolutions:
  • Provide legal advice on how to pass pro-amendment resolutions
  • Draft or review resolution text
  • Advise advocates on fast-moving legal issues that arise
  • Lobby or testify in support of resolutions
  • Help to defend pro-amendment resolutions against legal challenge
  1. Advocate for the amendment. The Democracy Honors Fellow will advocate for the amendment and respond to critiques:
  • Write op-eds in support of an amendment
  • Research and rebut arguments by amendment opponents
  1. Build a national support network. The Democracy Honors Fellow will build a national network of volunteer attorneys and other advocates around the country who can advocate for an amendment and respond to anti-amendment arguments:
  • Develop training materials, talking points, and “hostile Q&A” about the amendment
  • Deliver on-site training in various locations
  • Deliver national webinar training
  • Recruit, organize, and coordinate this national network

Occasional travel may be required.

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. degree or J.D. expected by the spring of 2016
  • Coursework in First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause (coursework in elections law and/or local government law is preferred but not required)
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis
  • Excellent research, writing and verbal communication skills
  • Self-starter, able to work independently in an entrepreneurial, startup nonprofit environment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work on a team with people of diverse backgrounds
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of Free Speech For People

Bar admission is not required at the time of application, but the Democracy Honors Fellow is expected to be authorized to practice law in at least one U.S. state or territory by the winter of 2016-17.

Salary
The salary for this two-year position is $50,000 per year plus an excellent benefits package, including health insurance, paid vacation time, and paid sick time.

Application Instructions
Please email the following documents to [email protected] for receipt no later than January 15, 2016. Please indicate where you learned of this opportunity.

  • Cover letter, including a brief (up to 500-word) statement explaining why you are interested in, and how your experiences and skills have prepared you for, the Democracy Honors Fellowship
  • Resume
  • Law school transcript
  • A letter of recommendation from a law school professor
  • Contact information for two additional references: one law school professor and one legal employer
  • Legal writing sample

For more information, click here.

 

Free Speech For People is an affirmative action employer and recruits, employs, retains, and promotes persons in a manner that does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, veteran status, or physical or mental ability which is unrelated to job performance.

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