Managing Attorney, Lawyers for Reporters
Location: New York City with possibility of working remotely
Start date: July 1, 2021
The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice
The Vance Center advances global justice by engaging lawyers across borders to support civil society and an ethically active legal profession. The Vance Center is a unique collaboration of international lawyers catalyzing public interest innovation. A non-profit program of the New York City Bar Association, we bring together leading law firms and other partners worldwide to pioneer international justice initiatives and provide pro bono legal representation to social justice NGOs.
The Vance Center and the Press Freedom Defense Fund, with support from the Democracy Fund, have launched Lawyers for Reporters, providing pro bono legal representation, to early-stage local journalism organizations nationwide.
Lawyers for Reporters is a nonprofit program providing pro bono legal services to nonprofit and local news reporting organizations throughout the United States, which began in March 2020. Clients include print and online publishers, radio, television and Internet content providers, photographers, documentarians, videographers, and cinematographers, as well as investigative, advocacy, and academic publishers of public interest content. The strategic goal of Lawyers for Reporters is ensuring that no journalists needing legal support will be turned down because of financial constraints.
Lawyers for Reporters provides the full range of advice and representation that reporters and news organizations need. Newsroom services include pre-publication review, newsgathering liability advice, demand letter response, subpoena defense, access litigation, intellectual property licensing, and dispute resolution. Other services include corporate, real estate, employment, and taxation advice. Lawyers for Reporters specializes in advising clients regarding re-organization from for-profit to nonprofit status and in establishing and managing subscriber/membership programs. To provide these services, it has developed and relies on a network of law firms that co-counsel with the Lawyers for Reporters team. In addition to direct legal services, the program involves training and capacity building through collaboration with partner organizations and technical specialists.
Lawyers for Reporters is building a staff of experienced lawyers with significant media and corporate law experience, lawyers with experience at media law clinics and post-graduate fellowships, a pro bono manager, a fundraising consultant, and administrative personnel. Based on the successful model of the Vance Center, the staff works in tandem with lawyers at dozens of law firms around the country in various areas of expertise engaged on a pro bono basis. An advisory committee is in formation to oversee the strategic and programmatic work of the program.
The Managing Attorney, reporting to the Vance Center Executive Director in consultation with the Press Freedom Defense Fund Co-Director, will manage the legal practice of the program in all areas: presentation to reporting organizations of the opportunity for legal services; intake of new clients; determination of legal needs; communication with clients and law firms providing pro bono co-counseling; coordination with law firms regarding legal services provided; provision of legal advice and representation of clients; maintenance of up-to-date and accurate case management system; supervising staff attorneys, the program manager, and other staff; and assisting in seeking financial support for the program from foundations, law firms, and individuals, in coordination with a fundraising consultant.
- Law degree, with additional education or specialization in law and/or journalism, preferred
- Admission to practice law in New York and/or California or qualification to waive into either jurisdiction
- Minimum 5-6 years of legal practice related to media operations, with journalism and/or media law experience preferred
- Experience and/or general knowledge of U.S. journalism, with focus on local and start-up journalism preferred
- Experience and/or general knowledge of the U.S. legal market, with focus on pro bono legal services preferred
- Experience with developing and/or managing professional networks and/or other forms of collaboration
- Experience with nonprofit fundraising, including grant writing, as well as nonprofit management, including governance, compliance, budgeting, and staff supervision
- Demonstrable ability to work independently, present effectively in writing and orally, manage a fast-paced, complex set of short and long-term tasks, and report to a board or advisory committee
- Authorization to work in the United States
Compensation will be set based on experience, with ongoing recognition of achievement.
The New York City Bar Association, the employer, provides a competitive benefits package, including generous paid time off (vacation, personal, sick time, holidays, day off for volunteer work, extra time off in summer), choice of medical plans, dental, vision, 401K, life insurance, commuter benefits, Employee Assistance Program, and employee discounts, among others.
Work will be remote until Association employees return to the Association’s building and then may be partly or fully remote, based on circumstances.
Please email a resume, cover letter with salary expectations, and the contact information of two references to email@example.com. In the subject line please write "Lawyers for Reporters". Applications will receive consideration as received, until a qualified candidate is hired. No phone calls please.
The Cyrus R. Vance Center is a proud equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. It is our policy to ensure equal opportunity in employment without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability, arrest or conviction record, pregnancy, credit history, salary history, caregiver status, marital status, partnership status, or status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses, religion, sex, genetic information, military status, unemployment status or any other characteristic as protected by law. With regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act and other related laws, the Organization will endeavor to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.