Fellowships

Legal Fellowships:

Each year, the Reporters Committee welcomes legal fellows to our Washington, D.C. office. They monitor significant developments in media law, assist staff attorneys responding to legal defense requests from reporters, assist staff attorneys in preparing legal memoranda, litigation materials and friend-of-the-court briefs, and handle other special projects. In addition, fellows write content for our website and for other publications. The work is challenging, but rewarding!


Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Legal Fellowship (Sept. 2019–Aug. 2020)

Deadline: Nov. 1, 2018, for a one-year fellowship position starting in Sept. 2019. Please note that applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and this position may be filled before the November 1 deadline. 

The Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Legal Fellowship is a one-year fellowship that focuses on First Amendment issues, primarily involving libel, invasion of privacy, and protection of confidential sources and materials. It is funded by the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The fellowship stipend is $43,000, with fully paid health benefits.

How to apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, contact information for three references, a legal writing sample, and a copy of your most recent law school transcript to fellowships@rcfp.org or by mail to:

Bruce D. Brown
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
1156 15th St. NW, Suite 1250
Washington, D.C. 20005-1779


Jack Nelson–Dow Jones Foundation Legal Fellowship (Sept. 2019–Aug. 2020)

Deadline: Nov. 1, 2018, for a one-year fellowship position starting in Sept. 2019. Please note that applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and this position may be filled before the November 1 deadline.

The Jack Nelson–Dow Jones Foundation Legal Fellowship for a recent law school graduate honors Reporters Committee founder Jack Nelson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who for many years was Washington bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times, and the Dow Jones Foundation, which has been generously supporting the Reporters Committee since 1973. Nelson, who died in 2009, is a former chair of the Executive Committee of the Reporters Committee and served on its Steering Committee for 25 years. The Dow Jones Foundation, established in 1954, supports organizations involved with journalism and press freedom, literacy and education as well as arts and culture. 

The Jack Nelson–Dow Jones Foundation Legal Fellow focuses on state and federal freedom of information law. The fellow can expect to participate in many aspects of trial and appellate court litigation handled by Reporters Committee attorneys in these areas, including the filing of open records requests, motion practice, discovery, brief writing, and hearing/oral argument preparation. The fellow will also have an opportunity to contribute to RCFP’s amicus and policy work and to assist in responding to inquiries from journalists and news organizations on FOI law. The fellowship stipend is $43,000, with fully-paid health benefits.

How to apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, contact information for three references, a legal writing sample, and a copy of your most recent law school transcript to fellowships@rcfp.org or by mail to:

Bruce D. Brown
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
1156 15th St. NW, Suite 1250
Washington, D.C. 20005-1779


Stanton Foundation Media Litigation Fellowship

Deadline: Nov. 1, 2018, for two-year fellowship position starting in Sept. 2019. Please note that applications will be considered on a rolling basis and this position may be filled before the November 1 deadline.

The Stanton Foundation Media Litigation Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for an early-career lawyer to play a hands-on role in the full scope of First Amendment and free press litigation matters handled by Reporters Committee staff attorneys. The Stanton Foundation Fellow will report directly to our Legal Director and work on small litigation teams with other legal fellows and Reporters Committee staff attorneys on a variety of First Amendment and media law cases, with a focus on assisting with access to courts and freedom of information litigation brought on behalf of the Reporters Committee, journalists, and news organizations.

The Stanton Foundation Fellow will participate in all aspects of state and federal litigation at both the trial and appellate level, including motion practice, discovery, brief writing, and hearing/oral argument preparation. 

Candidates for this challenging and rewarding two-year fellowship should have a demonstrated interest in the First Amendment and media law. Post-law school judicial clerkship, fellowship, and/or litigation experience with a law firm or public interest organization is strongly preferred. However, recent law school graduates with strong credentials will be considered. Applicants should be admitted to practice law in at least one U.S. jurisdiction or awaiting bar exam results/admission in at least one U.S. jurisdiction at the start of the fellowship term. Applicants who are not members of the D.C. Bar will be required to seek admission. The Stanton Foundation Fellow will be paid an annual salary of $68,000 and will receive full health benefits. 

The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, the president of CBS from 1946 to 1971. Among his accomplishments at the network’s helm, Stanton initiated the first televised presidential debates — the famous Kennedy-Nixon “Great Debates,” developing a format that subsequently became a staple of electoral politics. The foundation’s interests include classic and 21st-century First Amendment issues and the larger challenge of creating a better-informed citizenry.

How to apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, contact information for three references, a legal writing sample, and a copy of your most recent law school transcript to fellowships@rcfp.org or by mail to:

Bruce D. Brown
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
1156 15th St. NW, Suite 1250
Washington, D.C. 20005-1779


Yelp Fellowship (Fall Semester 2018)
 

This fall semester Yelp fellowship has been filled. Please check back for updates on future opportunities. 

The Yelp Fellowship is a semester-long fellowship that focuses on the implications of emerging technology and legal issues on press freedom. The Yelp fellow will report to the Policy Director and conduct research on topics including shield protections, the Freedom of Information Act, protections for sources, digital security and other policy matters that affect news reporting. 

 
The fellow will also produce analyses on issues like the impacts of court decisions or technologies on press freedom, and keep RCFP and coalition partners up-to-date on relevant policy developments. 
 
Candidates for this fellowship should have a demonstrated interest in the First Amendment and media law, and a commitment to press freedoms and RCFP’s mission. Applicants should have a knowledge of and interest in national policy affairs, background in journalism or familiarity with issues relating to government transparency and experience conducting policy research and/or legal analysis.
 
Because public communication is a component of this fellowship, candidates must also have excellent storytelling, writing and oral communication skills, and bring a collaborative approach to the position.
 
We will consider both full-time (12 weeks) or part-time (24 weeks) applicants. The Yelp Fellow will be paid a stipend of $7,500.