Do you want to use your law degree to work on cutting-edge constitutional cases, stop government abuse of power, set long-range precedent, and champion the rights of all Americans?

The Institute for Justice offers unique opportunities for attorneys.

Passionate about judicial engagement? Love using legal research and writing to write long-form scholarly pieces? Do you enjoy listening to IJ’s podcasts, Short Circuit and Bound by Oath? If so, the Attorney at the Center for Judicial Engagement position could be a great fit.

We are also looking for attorneys to join our Legislative team. Our Legislative Counsel develop and execute legislative strategies focused on eliminating unnecessary occupational licensing laws, particularly for lower-income occupations. They also work on legislation to safeguard property rights from abusive fines and fees, eminent domain, and civil forfeiture. 

Outlined below is detailed information for attorneys interested in litigation. For a full list of our openings, visit our Careers Page.

Lateral Attorney Hires

Committed to using your litigation experience to advance liberty? IJ offers an unparalleled opportunity to use your law degree to make a difference while handling high-impact litigation. Each year we look to grow our attorney ranks with outstanding lateral attorneys with three or more years of litigation experience.

Tired of taking the backseat on cases? Attorneys develop their own cases, direct legal strategy, take depositions, and present oral arguments through each stage of litigation up to and including the Supreme Court. Often, attorneys gain deposition and oral argument experience within their first 18-24 months.

Looking to expand your skillset? IJ attorneys are also expected to be active outside the courtroom, with responsibilities including media writing and appearances, public speaking, grassroots activism, and direct advocacy to policymakers and legislators.

We accept applications throughout the year, with the bulk of our new hires joining each August/September.

Judicial Clerks

At the Institute for Justice, we find that our top attorney recruits are those with clerkship experience. These attorneys have the intellectual firepower, best on-the-job training, and strong legal writing skills necessary to hit the ground running on our cutting-edge litigation. We have three opportunities for attorneys coming from clerkships. Read more below to see which position is best for you:

  • Litigation Fellowship: Our Litigation Fellowship is IJ’s preferred path for junior attorneys looking to start their career in public interest litigation. This is a two-year program for attorneys with less than three years of litigation experience. Fellows are full members of case teams, and they get to work directly with clients. They benefit from additional programming including mentorship opportunities and expert media training. IJ offers tiered clerkship bonuses for Litigation Fellow candidates coming directly from a clerkship at the federal district and appellate court level as well as the highest court in any state or the District of Columbia.
  • Bingham Fellowship (in-between clerkships): We recognize that judicial clerks often have gaps in between clerkships. We offer an opportunity to use that time to gain meaningful experience and training in public interest litigation. Bingham Fellows come to IJ for 1-2 years either before or in between clerkships. During this time, Bingham Fellows are immersed in IJ litigation. They are full members of case teams, work directly with clients and, like all new litigation recruits, benefit from expert media training and our mentorship program.
  • Lateral Hire: Attorneys with more than 3 years of litigation experience often join us as lateral attorneys.

Find out how you can contribute to IJ’s mission to expand individual liberty while gaining unparalleled strategic litigation experience.

New Lawyers & Recent Law School Graduates

The Institute for Justice is dedicated to training young lawyers from the moment they graduate law school. For attorneys with 0-3 years of litigation experience, a commitment to IJ’s mission, and an interest in pursuing public interest law, IJ offers its Litigation Fellowship:

  • The Litigation Fellowship is a two-year program in which Fellows work alongside IJ attorneys to litigate cutting-edge constitutional cases and advance a rule of law under which individuals can control their own destinies. This Fellowship is now IJ’s preferred path for candidates with less than three years of litigation experience.
  • Upon completion, Fellows are considered for permanent employment.
  • Fellows are full members of case teams and participate in every stage of litigation, including working directly with clients. Fellows, like all new litigation recruits, benefit from professional development, mentorship opportunities, and expert media training. 
  • We actively seek applicants who have judicial clerkship experience, and recognize the benefits of the insights and training conferred by a judicial clerkship. Judicial clerkship experience (not required, but strongly preferred). IJ offers tiered clerkship bonuses for Litigation Fellow candidates who have clerkship experience with federal district and appellate courts as well as the highest court in any state or the District of Columbia.
  • Base salary compensation is commensurate with experience and exceeds the government’s General Schedule (GS) pay scale.
  • Hiring for the Litigation Fellowship begins in December.

Law Students

The Institute for Justice offers a variety of opportunities for law students to contribute to IJ’s cutting-edge constitutional litigation and advocacy work throughout the year.

Find out how you can contribute to IJ’s mission to expand individual liberty while gaining unparalleled strategic litigation experience.

Our opportunities include:

  • Law Student Conference: IJ’s signature summer event brings law students from across the country together for an immersive weekend experience. Students learn about IJ and public interest law. This annual tradition of nearly thirty years takes place in our Arlington, VA headquarters.
  • Legal Intensive: This new format is a one-day introduction to public interest law held virtually or in other cities around the country.
  • Dave Kennedy Fellowship: IJ’s summer program for talented rising 2L and 3L law students. Fellows work closely with IJ attorneys to develop litigation strategies and assist in the nuts and bolts of cutting-edge civil rights litigation, including propounding and responding to discovery requests, drafting motions and briefs, and preparing for hearings.
  • Semester Clerks: IJ offers fall and spring semester clerkships at all six of our offices around the country!

Hear From Our Attorneys

At IJ, we are passionate about empowering individuals to fight for their rights. But what is it like to be on the front lines of this fight? Read these testimonials to hear directly from our attorneys about their favorite aspects of working at IJ.