Jun 22, 2021

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is looking for a two-year (Aug./Sep. 2022–Aug./Sep. 2024) Constitutional Litigation Fellow who is committed to civil rights, impact litigation, and upholding core First Amendment protections. Your work will include defending the rights of women, LGBTQ people, and racial and religious minorities against religion-based discrimination. And you will fight to keep religion out of government—including through challenges to religious activities in public schools, public financing of religious institutions, and government-sponsored religion in the public square.

Americans United is the nation’s leading church-state advocacy organization. For the last 75 years we have litigated church-state issues in federal and state courts across the country, with a substantial practice before the federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of our cases involve novel, cutting-edge First Amendment and other constitutional issues. In just the past few years, for example, we have litigated lawsuits and submitted amicus briefs challenging or opposing:

  • Religion-based refusals by businesses and government officials to provide services to LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples.
  • Race-based and sex-based employment discrimination by religious employers.
  • Trump Administration regulations that permit religious objectors to deprive women of insurance coverage for contraceptives.
  • Trump Administration regulations that license healthcare workers to refuse care to women, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities.
  • The Trump Administration’s anti-Muslim travel and immigration ban.
  • Demands for exemptions for religious activities from COVID-19-related public-health orders.

Fellows participate in all aspects of litigation before trial and appellate courts. Fellows write briefs, draft pleadings and discovery, work with clients, interview witnesses, participate in settlement negotiations, screen incoming complaints, and assist with development of new cases. Fellows may also have opportunities to take and defend depositions, conduct in-court examinations of witnesses, take part in oral arguments, and do public speaking. Under the close supervision of our four experienced litigators, Fellows receive the intensive training in trial and appellate litigation needed to become the next generation of leading impact litigators. Fellows regularly go on to serve as judicial clerks or work for public-interest organizations, government, academia, or plaintiffs’-side civil-rights firms.

Eligibility and Requirements: Third-year law students, recent law-school graduates, and judicial clerks who are committed to advancing the public interest and the separation of religion and government are encouraged to apply. Americans United includes and welcomes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions or beliefs, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and abilities. Because we work on a wide variety of issues and with many different communities, we value what diversity and diverse perspectives bring to our work.

Compensation: $71,000–$74,000, depending on experience. A comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, 401(k) with match, and commuter subsidy.

How to apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, law-school transcript, writing sample, and the names of three references to legaljobs@au.org. The cover letter should highlight why you want to work with us and what perspectives you would bring to strengthen our practice. The writing sample may be of any length; it should be your best example of comprehensive and detailed legal argument or analysis, should be your own work, and should not be substantially edited by anyone else.

Deadline: Open until filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply by November 1, 2021.