• American Oversight
  • Washington D.C., DC, USA
  • Oct 03, 2019
Full time Legal

Job Description

Come join a team of extraordinary lawyers bringing accountability to bear on the Trump administration. Through open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, American Oversight attorneys shine a light on corruption, malfeasance, and other misconduct. The organization is uniquely positioned to drive accountability in 2019 and 2020, working in parallel with congressional investigators to ensure that facts matter and bad actors are scrutinized.

If you’ve thought about jumping into the fight and putting your legal and litigation skills to work for the truth, American Oversight wants to hear from you. You can make a difference here. You can make administration officials answer for their conduct. You can help supercharge congressional investigations and investigative journalism. You also get to wake up in the morning feeling like you’re fighting the good fight alongside an extraordinary team of amazing and friendly professionals.

While working on a broad range of substantive issues — from EPA policy, to corruption concerns at DOJ, to interference with the 2020 Census — our lawyers are litigators first and foremost. They file pleadings, engage in extended meet-and-confers with opposing counsel, and battle to enforce the public’s right to transparency. The organization shares the fruits of our litigation with others, including the press, other nonprofits, Congress, and the public, to ensure they have an impact. Our litigators are key to the entire mission.

Lawyers also play a key role, in conjunction with our investigations team, in identifying ideas for potential Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, developing investigation strategies, crafting effective FOIA requests, and identifying issues in records produced in response to our requests.

American Oversight is looking for attorneys with preferably at least three years of legal experience, including at least one year of civil litigation. Responsibilities and salary will vary based on experience and skills.

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.

This position is based in Washington, DC, and reports to the Chief Counsel.


  • Litigate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests on behalf of American Oversight and other clients.
  • 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.
  • Draft FOIA and state open records act requests and administrative appeals.
  • 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.
  • Engage in frequent negotiations with executive branch FOIA and state agency open records personnel and with government counsel in litigation.
  • Prepare demand letters to advance ethics and transparency of executive branch.
  • 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.
  • Participating in internal organizational development initiatives.


  • Law degree and admission to practice in at least one state (with eligibility to join DC bar).
  • Preferably at least three years of legal experience, including a preference for at least one year in civil litigation.
  • 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. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.

The salary range for this position is $80,000 to $125,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.


Please send application materials, including a one-page cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, resume, and writing sample to with “Counsel Position” in the subject line. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will complete our first round of review by October 18, 2019.  


General-Other: Legal, Attorney


The salary range for this position is $80,000 to $125,000, commensurate with experience.