Job Listing: Staff Attorney – Good Governance

Title Staff Attorney – Good Governance Program

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 Good Governance Program pursues openness and honesty in government, supporting civil society and independent journalism to hold officials and institutions accountable.  It collaborates regularly with the Lawyers Council for Civil and Economic Rights in the Americas, led by the Vance Center, focusing on combatting corruption and defending civil society.

The Program advises many investigative journalism organizations around the world on issues of avoiding and defending against defamation claims, establishing joint investigations through data sharing and co-publication, employing journalists and editors in and from other countries, setting codes of conduct to promote safety, equal opportunity, and safety, and the like.  Our clients include the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the A Culture of Safety Alliance, the Arab Reporters of Investigative Journalism, and the Intercept.

The Program collaborates with organizations promoting openness, transparency, and accountability, including national chapters of Transparency International, particularly in Latin America.  It also helps clients ensure protection of digital rights, through advocacy and compliance with new legislation like the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union.

The Vance Center generally and the Program specifically work often with clients in Latin America.  This work requires communications and review of documents in Spanish, as well as at least a basic knowledge of the civil law system.

The Vance Center recruits private law firms from the Vance Center Committee to work alongside our program staff on the projects, as well as law firms in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. However, Program staff also engage in substantive legal work, including legal research and analysis, advocacy, and litigation.


Job Description

The Good Governance Staff Attorney will be an integral part of the Good Governance Program and expected to work on all aspects of the Program. Under the supervision of the Executive Director who leads the Program, the Staff Attorney will have the following main responsibilities:

  • Conduct research and analysis on international and domestic laws;
  • Contact and communicate with new and existing clients, particularly media organizations in Latin America and elsewhere in the world;
  • Maintain communications with law firms collaborating on pro bono projects and otherwise assist in coordinating and managing the projects;
  • Draft materials for publication on the Program’s activities, cases, or current events;
  • Plan and organize events, in the United States and abroad;
  • Undertake specific administrative duties related to the Program.



  • J.D. and/or LLM degree or equivalent, preferably from a U.S. law school.
  • Admission to practice law, preferably in New York State or another U.S. state, but alternatively in a Latin American country.
  • Minimum 1-2 years of experience in a legal organization in the private, nonprofit or public sector, with experience in a civil law jurisdiction particularly in Latin America, desirable.
  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills.
  • Written and oral fluency in English and Spanish, with Portuguese also desirable.
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills and great attention to detail.
  • Team spirit, including facility working with colleagues and partners from varied backgrounds and collaborating in virtual groups.
  • Ability to work quickly and well under pressure, to juggle multiple tasks, and to meet tight deadlines.
  • Excellent digital technology knowledge and skills.
  • Familiarity with issues of press freedom, media law, nonprofit organization and regulation, and general legal conditions in Latin America and elsewhere outside of the United States is highly desirable.
  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.

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 New York City Bar Association employees return to the Association’s building.

Application instructions:

Applications will receive consideration as received, until a qualified candidate is hired. To be considered, please email a resume, a cover letter with salary expectations, and a list of three references to In the subject line please write "Good Governance Staff Attorney".  No phone calls please.

The Cyrus R. Vance Center is a proud equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  It is the policy of the Organization to ensure equal employment opportunity 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.