Careers

American Oversight is always looking for new team members to help us hold the Trump administration accountable through Freedom of Information Act requests backed by aggressive litigation, communications, investigations, and research.

We are actively hiring for the positions listed below; however, if you are interested in joining our mission please reach out even if there is not a specific job posting for your skillset.

Are you an attorney who wants to go to court to extract information from the administration? Get in touch. Are you a researcher or investigator who wants to help uncover misconduct? Email us. Are you in college or law school and want to spend a semester or summer working with us? Send us a note. Our email address is [email protected]. We check it all the time.

See our current openings and job descriptions below:

Communications Manager

American Oversight is a non-profit organization dedicated to holding the executive branch accountable to the people. Through open records requests and the power of the courts, we are working every day to promote accountability and to uncover corruption, malfeasance, or other misconduct and to expose the administration to public scrutiny.

Communications and media relations are essential to our mission. Over the past two years, our work has helped drive investigative journalism at the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NBC, NPR, and more. American Oversight’s investigations helped uncover Ivanka Trump’s personal email usage, the lax work schedules kept by HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s heavy focus on industry groups, the prevalence of unqualified and politically connected appointees across the administration, and dozens of other significant stories.

We’re looking for a Communications Manager to join our team. This position is based in Washington, D.C., and reports to the Communications Director.

What we’re looking for the Communications Manager to:
  • Write and edit. This includes standard things like press releases and pitch emails, but you’ll also be working on blog posts and investigation reports.
  • Media relations. From pitching reporters and booking interviews to fielding incoming inquiries and managing media contact lists, much of this job will be communicating with both local and national media about the work that American Oversight is doing and finding opportunities to share our work with journalists.
  • Stay up to date on American Oversight’s ongoing litigation and investigations. At any given time, we have dozens of active cases and hundreds of open Freedom of Information Act requests. When reporters have questions about our work, they’ll often call you — so maintaining a working knowledge of AO’s wide array of investigations is essential.
  • Stay on top of the news. Yes, some of it is clips and media monitoring, but a bigger component of this is keeping track of the host of issues and agencies that we’re covering. If something new happens that could affect an investigation, we need to make sure we know about it.
  • Develop investigation ideas and help guide research. We’re a collaborative workplace, and you’ll be part of the team helping to come up with new ideas for us to pitch, new avenues to investigate, and different ways to promote our findings.
  • Coordinate with legal and investigations teams. From working with our lawyers to determine when to file a lawsuit to strategizing with our investigators about what kind of patterns to look for in our records, much of this role will involve collaborating with other departments and understanding their priorities.
We don’t have a hard and fast checklist, but here are some attributes that will probably describe the person who ends up in this job:  
  • You’re a great writer who can produce clear, compelling prose that makes complex legal arguments accessible to everyone.   
  • You’ve excelled in fast-paced work environments before (maybe a campaign or a start-up) and you’re good at staying organized while managing multiple projects at the same time.
  • You’re flexible and take the occasional last-minute decision or change of plans in stride.
  • You understand politics and have a good sense of the issues and dynamics in play in the national debate right now.
  • You like working collaboratively and do well in a team-based workplace.
  • You have strong skills with the standard office productivity and email software, and you’re also familiar with social media and web publishing platforms.
  • You have a college degree and 2-4 years of political communications, media relations, or journalism work experience where you can point to examples of how you’ve demonstrated these attributes.

American Oversight is an equal opportunity employer; minorities, women, persons with disabilities, LGBT individuals, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Salary for the Communications Manager is $65,000 – $75,000 commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply

Please send your cover letter and résumé to [email protected]

Staff Attorney and Counsel

Come join a team of extraordinary lawyers bringing accountability to bear on the Trump administration. Through open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, American Oversight attorneys shine a light on corruption, malfeasance, and other misconduct. The organization is uniquely positioned to drive accountability in 2019 and 2020, working in parallel with congressional investigators to ensure that facts matter and bad actors are scrutinized.

If you’ve thought about jumping into the fight and putting your legal and litigation skills to work for the truth, American Oversight wants to hear from you. You can make a difference here. You can make administration officials answer for their conduct. You can help supercharge congressional investigations and investigative journalism. You also get to wake up in the morning feeling like you’re fighting the good fight  alongside an extraordinary team of amazing and friendly professionals.

American Oversight emphasizes litigation experience when hiring attorneys. While working on a broad range of substantive issues — from EPA policy, to corruption concerns at DOJ, to interference with the 2020 Census — our lawyers are litigators first and foremost. They file pleadings, engage in extended meet-and-confers with opposing counsel, and battle to enforce the public’s right to transparency. The organization shares the fruits of our litigation with others, including the press, other nonprofits, Congress, and the public, to ensure they have an impact. Our litigators are key to the entire mission.

Lawyers also play a key role, in conjunction with our investigations team, in identifying ideas for potential FOIA requests, developing investigation strategies, crafting effective FOIA requests, and identifying issues in records produced in response to our requests.

American Oversight is looking for attorneys with varying degrees of experience. Our Staff Attorneys typically have between one and four years of litigation experience; our Counsels have six or more years of litigation experience.

The ideal candidate will have familiarity with government record-keeping and/or government ethics laws. Familiarity with the operation of the federal government would also be helpful.

We are a small team in a fast-paced environment. Collegiality and ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based environment is essential.

This position is based in Washington, DC, and reports to the Chief Counsel.

Core Responsibilities
  • Litigate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests. Draft court pleadings, including complaints, motions, and briefs.
  • Engage in legal and factual research, discovery, depositions, motions practice, brief writing, appellate work and amicus briefs.
  • Review and research current events to spot potential legal issues and to identify opportunities to uncover government malfeasance or unethical conduct. Work with investigations team to research and develop investigation strategies.
  • Draft FOIA and state open records act requests.
  • Interact with executive branch FOIA and state agency open records personnel.
  • Prepare reports, letters, and speeches.
  • Work with communications and investigations teams on messaging materials.
  • Represent American Oversight in meetings with allies and coalition partners.
Qualifications
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest advocacy.
  • Ideally at least one year of litigation experience.
  • Law degree and admission to practice in at least one state (DC preferred, or eligibility to join).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Freedom of Information Act and/or government ethics laws helpful.
  • Exceptional legal writing, research, and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong organizational and project-management abilities.
  • An interest in government ethics and accountability.
  • Sound judgment and ability to analyze situations and information.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity.
  • Outstanding communications skills.
Additional Information

American Oversight is an equal opportunity employer.  Minorities, women, persons with disabilities, LGBT individuals, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Salary commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply

Please send application materials, including a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, resume, and writing sample to [email protected]


 

Paralegal

American Oversight is a nonprofit dedicated to holding the executive branch accountable to the people. Through open records requests and the power of the courts, we work every day to promote accountability, to uncover corruption, malfeasance, or other misconduct, and to subject the administration to public scrutiny. American Oversight’s investigations helped uncover Ivanka Trump’s personal email usage, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s heavy focus on industry groups, the lax work schedules kept by HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and have led to dozens of other significant stories.

Litigation and legal work are central to our efforts, and we are looking for a paralegal to join our rapidly growing team.

The ideal candidate will have at least one year of work experience, be comfortable managing complex organizational systems, and have an interest in American Oversight’s mission of promoting government transparency and accountability. Some familiarity with the operations of the federal government would also be helpful, but is not required.

We are a small team in a fast-paced environment. Collegiality and the ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based environment are essential. The Paralegal reports to the Chief Counsel.

This position is based in downtown Washington, DC, and is easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines.

Core Responsibilities
  • Assist lawyers with all phases of litigation case support, including conducting legal research and editing and cite checking legal briefs.
  • Coordinate service of process and/or case filings.
  • Organize and maintain case files.
  • Review and research current events to spot potential issues for investigation.
  • Assist both legal and investigations team with document review and factual research.
  • Assist both legal and investigations teams with drafting and filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests.
  • Organize and maintain files and information systems tracking the filing of record requests and government responses.
Qualifications
  • At least one year of work experience.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Strong organizational abilities.
  • An interest in American Oversight’s mission of government transparency and accountability.
  • Ability to work proactively to solve problems.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and in coordination with multiple teams.
  • Ability to work with little supervision.
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity.
  • Outstanding communications skills.
  • Familiarity with a variety of computer systems, including word processers and spreadsheets.
Additional Information

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity.  People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.

The salary range for this position is $45,000 to $60,000, commensurate with experience.  Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply

Please send a 1-page cover letter describing your relevant experience and interest along with your resume to [email protected].

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will complete our first round of review by May 10, 2019.

Intern

American Oversight is a non-profit organization dedicated to holding the executive branch accountable to the people. Through open records requests and the power of the courts, we are working every day to promote accountability and to uncover corruption, malfeasance, or other misconduct and to expose the administration to public scrutiny.

We are looking for an innovative and inquisitive college students or recent graduates to join our team on a rolling basis to work alongside our investigations, communications, and legal teams. Our attorneys use the law creatively to promote accountability and uncover unethical and abusive government conduct. Our communications team works with journalists and uses new media to bring public attention to our legal work and public scrutiny to the ethical problems and malfeasance we find in the federal government. And the backbone of accountability is investigating issues to pursue and understanding the evidence we uncover. All of this work requires initiative, skill, and creativity.

Our interns will be exposed to a wide range of research, communications, and legal activity within this active startup, including factual research and analysis, legal writing, communications strategy, and active mentoring.

The ideal candidate will have an interest in government accountability; be an avid and curious consumer of the news; be self-motivated and dependable; and possess excellent research and writing skills. Familiarity with content management systems is a plus. This is an ideal opportunity for a student or recent graduate interested in pursuing journalism, political communications, public interest law, or government oversight work.

We are a small team in a fast-paced environment. Collegiality and the ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based environment is essential.

Core Responsibilities
  • Research current events to identify opportunities to uncover government malfeasance or unethical conduct.
  • Support the investigations team in reviewing government documents produced through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
  • Draft Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests.
  • Draft press releases and blog posts.
  • Work with American Oversight’s staff to identify potential targets for investigation and organizational priorities.
Qualifications

This internship is open to current college students and recent graduates. Interns should possess the following:

  • Demonstrated commitment to public-interest advocacy.
  • Exceptional writing, research, and oral communications skills.
  • An interest in government ethics and accountability.
  • Sound judgment and the ability to analyze situations and information.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity.
Additional Information

American Oversight is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, persons with disabilities, LGBT individuals, and veterans encouraged to apply.

Benefits

Interns who are not receiving course credit will be paid $15/hour for a 35-hour work week.

How to Apply

Please send application materials, including a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, resume, and writing sample to [email protected] with the subject “Internship.”