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Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI) is a community of scholars, journalists, activists, and civic leaders who are united by a shared commitment to advancing economic opportunity, individual liberty, and the rule of law in America and its great cities. MI is independent, creative, and bold, and we are hiring a legal fellow for a one- to two-year fellowship to assist in our legal policy and constitutional studies departments.

MI’s legal policy department, under the leadership of senior fellow James R. Copland, conducts research and publishes policy solutions on the problems associated with manipulating legal rules to achieve policy objectives outside the normal bounds of legislative action and administrative rulemaking.

MI’s constitutional studies department, under the leadership of senior fellow Ilya Shapiro, seeks to restore a constitutional order of limited and enumerated federal powers, consistent with Americans’ individual rights. Its amicus curiae program furthers that goal by assisting courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, with arguments supporting petitions for review or positions in cases already under review.

Job Duties

  • Assist with research and writing of policy papers, legal briefs, and other projects
  • Draft policy documents containing model legislative language
  • Review proposed model legislation for conformity with stated aims and potential legal challenges
  • Represent MI on calls and conferences with partner organizations and individuals
  • Write articles and op-eds on legal developments and legal policy matters

Required Qualifications and Skills

  • JD from an accredited law school
  • Experience and demonstrated interest in one or more of: constitutional law; administrative law; tort law and reform; corporate law and governance (including ESG issues); shareholder rights and activism 
  • Rapid ability to learn and understand legal issues; excellent research and writing skills; familiarity with editing process and incorporating feedback
  • Proactively exercises sound judgment in conforming new work to program aims and the existing corpus of MI scholarship
  • Collaborative attitude, eager to work on multiple teams in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to track program progress and meet deadlines on multiple projects simultaneously

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ranking in top quartile of law school class; participation in law review or secondary law journal; demonstrated academic excellence in undergraduate studies
  • Familiarity or interest in New York City and State issues and law, including the New York City Charter and New York State Constitution
  • Previous summer internship with judge, law firm, public interest law firm, prosecutor’s office, administrative agency, or think tank broadly aligned with MI scholarship

MI offers generous benefits, including a hybrid work environment, four weeks paid vacation, a Summer Fridays program, paid paternity/maternity leave, medical and dental coverage, medical and dependent care FSA, mental health benefits, remote medicine, paid company cell phone, life insurance, and a 401(k) with a company-funded match.  MI staff also benefit from the opportunity to collaborate and socialize with prominent scholars in our policy space.

The salary range for this position is $90,000/year to $110,000/year.  The salary offered to a candidate will depend on skills, experience, and education.

To apply, please fill out the form below and include:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter explaining your interest in MI’s legal fellowship
  • Law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • General-audience writing sample: please include an op-ed length public-policy commentary or links to previously published commentary
  • Legal writing sample: Please include a writing sample intended for a legal audience. This can be work completed for a law school course, a note published in a law review or secondary journal, or non-privileged work product

 You may include either a link to the writing samples and other documents, or append them to your cover letter.

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