Counsel (0-3 Years’ Experience)

$70,000 - $95,000 yearly
  • American Oversight
  • Remote
  • Apr 28, 2021
Full time Legal

Job Description

Join a team of extraordinary lawyers bringing accountability to bear on all levels of government. American Oversight promotes accountability, integrity, and democracy through transparency. Using open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, American Oversight attorneys work every day to shine a light on corruption, malfeasance, and other misconduct. American Oversight’s investigations helped uncover the scrapped plan to mail face masks to every American household, key details of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s role in the Ukraine scandal, and dozens of other significant stories. We’re expanding our focus and bringing our model to the states — using transparency tools to hold state governments accountable. Already, our lawsuits have resulted in the release of thousands of pages of records relating to Georgia’s election operations, including attempts to challenge voter eligibility in that state. 

American Oversight is uniquely positioned to drive government accountability in 2021 and beyond, with an emphasis on defending democracy, voting rights, redistricting, and election protection work at the state level, as well as long-term accountability for Trump administration officials.  

Our attorneys, in conjunction with our investigations team, play a key role in identifying ideas for potential investigation, developing investigation strategies, crafting effective open records requests, and identifying issues in records produced in response to our requests. This requires initiative, skill, and creativity in identifying and crafting legal strategies. 

We are a small team in a fast-paced environment. Collegiality and ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based environment is essential. 

American Oversight is looking for early career attorneys with zero to three years of legal experience. Responsibilities and salary will vary based on experience and skills. 


  • Review and research current events to spot potential legal issues and to identify opportunities to uncover government malfeasance or unethical conduct. 
  • Work with investigations team to research and develop investigation strategies. 
  • Draft Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests and administrative appeals. 
  • Litigate FOIA requests on behalf of American Oversight and other clients. 
  • Coordinate relationships with local counsel to bring litigation in state jurisdictions.  
  • Draft court pleadings, including complaints, motions, and briefs. 
  • Engage in legal and factual research, motions practice, and brief writing. 
  • When appropriate, engage in drafting of discovery requests, appellate briefs, amicus briefs, and regulatory comments. 
  • Engage in frequent negotiations with executive branch FOIA and state agency open records personnel and with government counsel in litigation. 
  • Work with communications and investigations teams on messaging materials and blog posts as needed. 
  • Represent American Oversight in meetings with coalition partners and congressional committees. 
  • Participate in internal organizational development initiatives. 


  • Law degree and admission to at least one state bar (with eligibility to join DC bar), with eligibility to join DC bar. We will also consider candidates graduating from law school in 2021 who are planning to sit for the bar exam. 
  • Zero to three years of legal experience, with a preference for civil litigation experience. 
  • Commitment to public interest advocacy. 
  • An interest in American Oversight’s mission of government accountability and transparency. 
  • Exceptional legal writing, research, and verbal communications skills. 
  • Strong organizational and project-management abilities. 
  • Sound judgment and ability to analyze situations and information. 
  • Ability to work collaboratively. 
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Freedom of Information Act and/or government ethics laws helpful but not required. 

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they have every one of the qualifications listed. We are dedicated to finding the best candidate for the job. Our hiring process is centered on assessing candidates with diverse lived experiences. We would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our qualifications described. If you are unsure of whether you meet the qualifications of this position, or how this would be determined, please contact us to discuss your application. 

  • The salary range for this position is $70,000 to $95,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package. 
  • American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. 
  • American Oversight is a remote-first organization, and our employees can work from anywhere in the country. Our attorneys often litigate in the federal district court in the District of Columbia. Some preference will be given to local candidates who are able to appear in person in that court. However, we will consider candidates in other locations, particularly in states where American Oversight has active investigations. Under COVID-19 protocols, we currently have a mandatory telework arrangement. Our office in downtown Washington, DC, will become an optional workspace when pandemic-related restrictions allow. 
  • We are biased, but we think American Oversight is a great place to work! Take a look at the testimonials from members of our wonderful team. 


Interested applicants are encouraged to apply at as soon as possible. Finalists will be asked to provide references. We will review applications on a rolling basis and complete our first round of review by May 12, 2021.