Careers

American Oversight is always looking for new team members to help us hold the government accountable through public records 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.

Read more from our team about what it’s like to work here.

 

See our current openings and job descriptions below:

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.

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 Freedom of Information Act (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 preferably at least three years of legal experience, including at least one year of civil litigation. Responsibilities and salary will vary based on experience and skills.

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.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Litigate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests on behalf of American Oversight and other clients.
  • Draft court pleadings, including complaints, motions, and briefs.
  • Engage in legal and factual research, motions practice, and brief writing.
  • When appropriate, engage in drafting of discovery requests, appellate briefs, amicus briefs, and regulatory comments.
  • Draft FOIA and state open records act requests and administrative appeals.
  • 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.
  • Engage in frequent negotiations with executive branch FOIA and state agency open records personnel and with government counsel in litigation.
  • Prepare demand letters to advance ethics and transparency of executive branch.
  • Work with communications and investigations teams on messaging materials and blog posts as needed.
  • Represent American Oversight in meetings with coalition partners and congressional committees.
  • Participating in internal organizational development initiatives.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Law degree and admission to practice in at least one state (with eligibility to join DC bar).
  • Preferably at least three years of legal experience, including a preference for at least one year in civil litigation.
  • Commitment to public interest advocacy.
  • An interest in American Oversight’s mission of government accountability and transparency.
  • Exceptional legal writing, research, and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong organizational and project-management abilities.
  • Sound judgment and ability to analyze situations and information.
  • Ability to work collaboratively.
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Freedom of Information Act and/or government ethics laws helpful but not required.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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

The salary range for this position is $80,000 to $125,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a one-page cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, resume, and writing sample to [email protected] with “Counsel Position” in the subject line. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will begin our first round of review by October 18, 2019.

State Program Coordinator

American Oversight is seeking an extraordinary candidate to coordinate a major new initiative to bring our investigative watchdog expertise to bear on the problem of voter suppression and the corruption of democracy at the state level.

American Oversight uses state and federal open records requests, backed by aggressive litigation, to expose corruption in government. Now, in addition to American Oversight’s extensive federal anti-corruption mission, we are using the same tools to uncover the paper trail left behind when politicians, activist groups, and dark money conspire to entrench themselves in power by limiting who can vote. Secrecy makes their efforts possible. The evidence we uncover will inform the public, support civil rights litigation, and augment policy advocacy for change.

As State Program Coordinator, you will be American Oversight’s internal and external hub for anti-voter suppression efforts, coordinating our litigators, investigators, and communicators with like-minded organizations and actors. You will help us identify investigative targets and find ways to put the evidence we obtain to use for change.

An ideal candidate is an excellent organizer and relationship builder, a sponge for information, and a master at distilling complex or voluminous information to make it compelling. A typical day will involve tracking the news, digging into substance with American Oversight staff, reviewing documents, and staying in close contact with partner organizations at the state and federal levels. American Oversight currently is active in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, but is exploring expansion into new jurisdictions. In the future, American Oversight’s state-level work may expand beyond voter defense to other corruption issues.

The State Program Coordinator will work closely with American Oversight’s leadership to chart strategy and inform resource allocation decisions. At the same time, they will be close to the work, often jumping on opportunities as they arise to ensure maximum impact.

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

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Coordinate and develop strategies for open records investigations in individual states, as well as for American Oversight’s broader state-level program.
  • Develop and manage upward and downward communications about the state program to keep everyone informed and working together.
  • Work with American Oversight management to coordinate efforts of American Oversight staff focused on state-based work.
  • Read widely to stay abreast of relevant news and identify information germane to existing investigations or potential new ones.
  • Cultivate relationships with other organizations at the state and national levels to identify potential lines of inquiry, understand local dynamics, and discover opportunities for impact.
  • Participate in the drafting and review of open records requests. Review documents obtained through open records requests.
  • Work with American Oversight’s investigations team and partner organizations to identify significant information in the documents we uncover.
  • Work with American Oversight’s communications and investigations teams as well as partner organizations to leverage and publicize finds and create messaging materials.
  • Represent American Oversight in meetings with coalition partners.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Four or more years of experience in organizing or issue advocacy. Familiarity with working in coalitions or with partner organizations.
  • A strong foundation in voting rights issues preferred.
  • Excellent organizational and project management abilities.
  • Demonstrated people management experience.
  • Exceptional writing, research, and verbal communications skills.
  • Sound judgment and analysis.
  • Familiarity with open records laws or tools is helpful but not required.
  • A passion for details and for seeing the full puzzle from a handful of pieces.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping American Oversight build something new.
  • Comfortable in an evolving startup environment.
  • Ability to work effectively on multiple projects, balance priorities, and excel in a team-based, collegial environment is essential.
  • Spanish language skills are helpful but not required.
  • We believe the above qualifications do a good job describing the kind of candidate we are seeking; however, if you think you’re perfect for the job but don’t check every box, please apply and tell us why you’d be a great fit.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or veterans are encouraged to apply.
  • The salary range for this position is $80,000 to $100,000, commensurate with experience. We offer a 403(b) plan with an employer match and generous health-care benefits.
  • We are biased, but we think American Oversight is a great place to work! Take a look at the testimonials from members of our wonderful team.
  • American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a one-page cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, resume, and writing sample to [email protected] with “State Program Coordinator Position” in the subject line. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and will begin our first round of review by October 25, 2019.

Winter 2020 Research Intern

American Oversight is a non-profit organization dedicated to holding the executive branch accountable to the American people. Through open records requests and the power of the courts, we are working every day to promote accountability; to uncover corruption, malfeasance, or other misconduct; and to expose the administration to public scrutiny. American Oversight’s investigations helped uncover Ivanka Trump’s personal email use, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s heavy focus on industry groups, and the lax work schedules kept by HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and have led to dozens of other significant stories. We’re also expanding our focus and bringing our model to the states – using transparency tools to hold state governments accountable.

American Oversight is hiring research interns to support our investigative work and help us hold the Trump administration and state governments accountable.

The positions are located in Washington, DC, and report to our investigations director.

We are no longer accepting applications for fall 2019 internships but will review applications for winter 2020 on a rolling basis.

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

As an intern:

  • You’ll support the investigations team’s work by conducting creative, detail-oriented research using a wide variety of sources—including publicly available research databases, documents obtained through public records requests, and news reports.
  • You’ll work with research and legal staff to develop and write public records requests aimed at covering government corruption and malfeasance at the state and federal levels.
  • You’ll review documents that we receive from public records requests to identify newsworthy stories and opportunities for further research.
  • You’ll work with the communications team to write blog posts and other products synthesizing American Oversight’s research.
  • You’ll take on other tasks as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

This position is open to students and recent graduates who are interested in building their research skills in preparation for careers in fields such as journalism, law, policy analysis, campaign research, or government oversight.

The ideal candidate will have excellent research and writing skills, engagement in political news and interest in the workings of the federal government, exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail, comfort handling multiple projects in a fast-paced environment, and a positive, can-do attitude.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team.  People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Internships are full-time or part-time temporary positions. Interns who are not receiving school credit for the internship are paid at $15 an hour. Start and end dates are flexible and can be adjusted to fit the intern’s schedule.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, résumé, and a brief writing sample to [email protected]. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

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 for winter internships by November 15, 2019.

Winter/Spring 2020 Communications Intern

American Oversight is a non-profit organization dedicated to holding the government accountable to the American people. Through open records requests and the power of the courts, we are working every day to promote accountability; to uncover corruption, malfeasance, or other misconduct; and to expose federal and state governments to public scrutiny. American Oversight’s investigations helped uncover Ivanka Trump’s personal email use, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s special treatment of projects from her home state of Kentucky, and insider access for Trump associates across the government, along with dozens of other stories detailing conflicts of interest at the highest levels of the cabinet.

American Oversight is hiring a communications intern to support our media outreach and website content creation and help us hold the Trump administration and state governments accountable. The communications intern reports to the communications director.

The position is located in Washington, DC, and is easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines.

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES 

As an intern:

  • You’ll work with the whole communications team to help share our work with the public through press outreach, website content creation, and social media channels.
  • You’ll help create write-ups of our investigations and work with the content manager to ensure accuracy with the organization of public documents on our website.
  • You’ll conduct media research to identify news outlets and reporters working on issues that American Oversight is investigating.
  • You’ll draft press releases and background memos highlighting new actions we’re taking and explaining key findings uncovered by our research team.
  • You’ll monitor the news on key issue areas to find opportunities for American Oversight to share our work or submit new public records requests.
  • You’ll work with the investigations and legal teams to track ongoing investigations and draft updates on major developments in our lawsuits.
  • You’ll take on other tasks within the communications team as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

This position is open to students and recent graduates who are interested in building their communications skills in preparation for careers in fields such as public relations, journalism, law, campaign communications, or digital media.

The ideal candidate will have excellent writing and research skills, engagement in political news and interest in the workings of the federal government, exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail, comfort handling multiple projects in a fast-paced environment, and a positive, can-do attitude.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Internships are full-time or part-time temporary positions. Interns who are not receiving school credit for the internship are paid at $15 an hour. Start and end dates are flexible and can be adjusted to fit the intern’s schedule.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a résumé and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest, to [email protected]. Please indicate in your email how you heard about this opening.

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 for winter/spring internships by December 1, 2019.

Summer 2020 Legal Intern

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, working in parallel with congressional investigators to ensure that facts matter and bad actors are scrutinized.

Litigation and legal work are central to our efforts, and we are looking for an innovative and inquisitive law student to join our team for summer 2020. Our attorneys creatively use the law to promote governmental accountability and to uncover unethical and abusive government conduct. We use all available legal tools to identify, investigate, and reveal ethical problems and malfeasance in the federal government. This requires initiative, skill, and creativity in identifying and crafting legal strategies.

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. Our legal intern will be exposed to a wide range of legal activity within this active startup, including drafting open records requests, drafting complaints, assisting in developing litigation strategy, attending court hearings, and participating in brown bag luncheons discussing current litigation and ethics topics. Our interns also benefit from active mentoring by our team of attorneys. 

The ideal candidate will have an interest in legal investigations, government ethics, and/or government oversight; will be self-motivated and dependable; and will possess excellent research skills (of both the legal and investigations kind). Familiarity with the operation of the federal government would also be helpful but is not required.

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 are essential.

 ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  •  Review and research current events to spot potential legal issues and to identify opportunities to uncover state and federal government malfeasance or unethical conduct.
  • Draft Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state open records act requests and administrative appeals.
  • Draft court pleadings, including complaints, motions, and briefs.
  • Conduct legal research to support our litigation strategy.
  • Prepare reports and other editorial content for our website based on the findings of our investigations.

QUALIFICATIONS 

This legal internship is open to law students who will have completed their first semester of law school before the internship commences. Legal interns should possess the following:

  • Commitment to public-interest advocacy.
  • Exceptional writing, research, and oral communications skills.
  • 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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

  • Legal interns who are not receiving course credit will be paid $15/hour for a 35-hour week.
  • We are biased, but we think American Oversight is a great place to work! Take a look at the testimonials from members of our wonderful team.
  • American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
  • The position is located in downtown Washington, DC, and is easily accessible by multiple metro and bus lines. 

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 “Legal Internship – Summer 2020.” 

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 January 2, 2020.

Notes from Our Team: Why Work at American Oversight

“Before joining American Oversight, I was working long hours at a stressful job. After the 2016 election, I was frustrated with the way things turned out and with my total lack of time for putting any thought into what I, personally, could do in response, let alone for taking any real action. I needed a change, and American Oversight’s mission — holding the government accountable and exposing corruption — was a great way to take my existing litigation skill-set and apply it to making a difference in the real world. In addition, while I had always cared about policy issues and their impact on people, I had never been tuned in to politics, nor did I feel like I had particularly useful or unique knowledge of any one policy issue. American Oversight was extra appealing, as it offered a means to participate and make a difference even without policy or political experience. Our work applies to all aspects of public policy, and it transcends the political, partisan system.” Katie, Counsel

“After the 2016 election, I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines helplessly reading headline after headline. I wanted to work in a place where I could have both the opportunity to expand my skill set and take action on issues I care about, and I’ve found that here at American Oversight. As a member of the communications team, I’ve really enjoyed taking on new projects and seeing our growth into new areas, and generally being a part of the team. Our office culture is really kind, and people are accommodating to others’ needs here.” Christina, Digital Associate

“I wanted to use my law degree in a way that reflected my interest in public policy and ethics. American Oversight beautifully married those two interests and I feel that my work has a direct impact on the world around me. I am eager to see how some cases pending in litigation will pan out. I’m also really interested in our project with state records requests, seeing the organization expand beyond federal oversight… I really value the atmosphere here: collegiality and collaboration build a supportive environment. Even though the organization is growing, there’s a pervasive feeling that we’re part of a team.” Khahilia, Counsel