Staff Attorney, Lawyers for Reporters

Staff Attorney, Lawyers for Reporters

The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice

Position Reports to:  Executive Director, Vance Center

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: New York City with possibility of remote work


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. 

Program Description

The Vance Center and the Press Freedom Defense Fund launched Lawyers for Reporters in March 2020 to provide pro bono legal representation to early-stage local journalism and other reporting organizations in the United States.  Since its launch, it has represented 125 clients in 30 states.

Lawyers for Reporters 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 public interest reporting organization needing legal support will fail to find it because of financial constraints.

Lawyers for Reporters provides the full range of advice and representation that news and other reporting 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. In addition to direct legal services, the program provides training and capacity building through collaboration with partner organizations and technical specialists.

Based on the successful model of the Vance Center, Lawyers for Reporters staff work in tandem with lawyers at dozens of law firms around the country in various areas of expertise, engaged on a pro bono basis.  Since its launch, 166 lawyers from 27 law firms have participated.


The Position 

The Staff Attorney, reporting to the Vance Center Executive Director will participate in 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 case management system; and support of fundraising for the program from foundations, law firms, and individuals, in coordination with fundraising staff.

Lawyers for Reporters expects that the Staff Attorney will have and develop particular expertise in media law and assume primary responsibility for client matters in these areas.



  • Law degree from a U.S. law school, 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 2-3 years of legal practice in a U.S. law firm or other organization representing clients, with experience in media law.
  • Experience and/or general knowledge of U.S. journalism, with focus on local and start-up journalism preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, present 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


Additional Qualifications Preferred

  • Experience with pro bono practice and general knowledge of the U.S. legal market, including pro bono legal services
  • Experience with developing and/or working with 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



Starting salary will be $70,000 -$80,000 based on experience.

We provide a competitive benefits package, including generous paid time off (vacation, personal, sick time, holidays including closing between Christmas and New Year’s day, day off for volunteer work, extra time off in summer), choice of medical plans, dental, vision, 401K, life insurance, commuter benefits program, Employee Assistance Program, short-term/long-term disability insurance and employee discounts, among others.

Application instructions:

Applications will be considered when received, until a qualified candidate is hired. To apply, please submit a resume, a cover letter, and a list of three references at No phone calls please.

The Vance Center is a proud equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, and we particularly encourage applications from candidates belonging to communities historically under-represented in the legal profession. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. It is our policy 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), 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, we will endeavor to make reasonable accommodations for persons due to their religious beliefs; disability; pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition; or because the individual was a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking.