Cornell Law School, Associate Director, First Amendment Clinic

02 Sep 2021 8:56 PM | Chanté Brantley (Administrator)

CORNELL LAW SCHOOL is hiring an Associate Director for its First Amendment Clinic.  

To apply:


Cornell Law School is soliciting applications for a Clinician to join the faculty and serve as Associate-Director, and ultimately Director, of its First Amendment Clinic.

The First Amendment Clinic has an active and exciting docket of matters that includes both impact litigation on a national basis and, through its innovative Local Journalism Project, matters related to the defense and support of local media outlets and journalists and their critical newsgathering and watchdog functions. The Clinic provides students who care about free speech, assembly and petition, a free press and the value of government transparency with the opportunity to work on important cases in the field, while learning and developing a wide range of practical litigation and advocacy skills. The Clinic has also collaborated with other Cornell Law Clinics working on capital punishment, immigration, entrepreneurship and farmworker policy. In this role, the Clinician will supervise the staff attorneys of the Clinic, including currently: the Managing Attorney of the Local Journalism Project, a Stanton Foundation Fellow, and a NYC-based Local Journalism Attorney.

The Clinician will report to the current Director of the Clinic, Mark Jackson, and will be part of a succession plan to become Director. In particular, the Clinician will be responsible for the following:

  • Co-teaching the Clinic Seminar for the introductory and advanced offerings of the Clinic and the Clinic Bootcamp at the start of each semester.
  • Supervising the work of the Staff Attorneys and students, and consulting with the Director of the Clinic on all Clinic matters.
  • Maintaining a vital docket of lawsuits and other matters for the Clinic, informed by client needs, the mission of the Clinic and the priorities of the Clinician.
  • Handling all of the administrative and operational aspects of the Clinic, and liaising with law school and university administration to run the Clinic effectively.
  • Conducting outreach to, and networking with, local media outlets, and journalists to inform the ongoing work of the Clinic and to train outlets on the legal issues related to their newsgathering and coverage.
  • Collaborating with other free expression clinics and other free speech and press organizations throughout the country, including the Free Expression Legal Network (FELN), to enhance and amplify the work of the Clinic.
  • Helping to raise funds for the Clinic’s ongoing operations from foundations, individuals and alumni and communicating regularly with those funders.

Qualifications: JD and admission to the New York bar (or eligibility for admission on motion to the New York bar). The appointment level will depend on the successful applicant’s level of experience, but the appointment will be to a long-term, presumptively renewable, contract track. Five years of experience litigating cases in the First Amendment field, or on behalf of news, or other types of media outlets, is strongly preferred. Prior teaching experience is advantageous but not essential.

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

To apply: Interested candidates can apply via Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, research statement, diversity statement, law school transcript, names of at least three references, a writing sample, and other significant supporting materials. Please note that references will be asked to submit their letters via the application portal.

To ensure maximum consideration, please submit all application materials by September 30, 2021. We plan to interview candidates via Zoom in late October.

Questions may be referred to Liz Flint, Director of Human Resources:

About Us:

Founded in 1887, Cornell Law School is a top-tier law school, currently ranked 13th by U.S. News & World Report. We offer a 3-year JD program for about 200 students per class, a one-year LLM program for about 90 students from countries throughout the world, and a doctoral (JSD) program for about 2-3 new students per year. Cornell Law School has 41 tenured and tenure-track faculty, including 20 with chaired faculty positions; and 15 clinical professors in the legal research and writing program and in clinics at the local, national, and international level. Our faculty is consistently ranked among the top in the country for scholarly productivity and influence, and has pre-eminence in many areas, including quantitative and qualitative empirical legal studies, international and comparative law, and robust doctrinal scholarship in core fields. Our school is committed to being recognized as the leader among law schools at combining inspiring theoretical, doctrinal, and experiential teaching with cutting-edge scholarship in a supportive, intellectually rich community, so that our graduates can achieve excellence in all facets of the legal profession.

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. Located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper east Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the new Cornell Tech campus to be built on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City. We offer a rich array of services, programs and benefits to help employees advance in their career and enhance the quality of personal life, including: employee wellness, workshops, childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave, flexible work options.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.


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