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.

Digital Engagement Editor

How can government officials be held accountable for misconduct if no one knows about it? American Oversight is a non-partisan, non-profit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to expose evidence of corruption, misconduct, or conflicts of interest.

American Oversight’s work exposed hundreds of pages of Ukraine documents that were withheld from Congress, we prompted the discovery of Ivanka Trump’s extensive use of a private email system, and we’ve investigated and uncovered widespread conflicts of interest across the cabinet. Through our State Accountability Project, we’re investigating voter suppression in multiple states.  

We’re looking for an energetic, driven, media-savvy, digital storyteller to join our team as the Digital Engagement Editor. Part digital journalism, part anti-corruption advocacy, and part rapid-response information sharing, the Digital Engagement Editor will help ensure American Oversight’s work, expertise, and resources are part of the online conversation.  

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

RESPONSIBILITIES

You’ll be the digital spokesperson for American Oversight and our voice on social media, managing a Twitter account with more than 100,000 followers that is regularly quoted by the media. You’ll be responsible for developing new strategies to highlight our work, calling attention to the government misconduct and corruption that we uncover, and making sure our channels are a useful resource for journalists, government investigators, and the public. 

On a daily basis, you will collaborate with the communications director, web editor, and the legal and investigations teams to create compelling digital content for social media, emails, and other projects as needed. 

Specific tasks will shift day by day along with our work and the news cycle, but in a typical week, your job will probably include:

  • Sharing breaking news based on documents that American Oversight has uncovered, including stories that we break ourselves as well as those written and published by news outlets;
  • Managing AO’s current social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and exploring new platforms that could help share our work with a broader audience;
  • Creating compelling copy, as well as graphics and other visually engaging content, that highlights our work and drives response online;
  • Monitoring the news and the conversation on social media to identify opportunities for our current or previous work to inform the public on key issues;
  • Drawing upon the AO team’s expertise in government ethics, congressional oversight, FOIA litigation, or related topics to create and share content that helps our followers understand current events;
  • Working with the web editor and other members of the communications team to develop and execute plans to announce new investigations, new lawsuits, or important developments in our ongoing work;
  • Being the in-house expert in how to use social media to inform the public, and creating and maintaining short- and long-term digital strategy plans to make the most of the opportunities we have; 
  • Participating in brainstorms and planning meetings with an eye toward surfacing new and creative ways to communicate AO’s message;
  • Engaging in rapid response to current events, developments, and document releases in AO’s FOIAs and litigation; 
  • Occasionally (but definitely not most of the time) engaging after business hours or on weekends to promote new developments in American Oversight’s investigations or to respond to breaking news that relates to our work.

QUALIFICATIONS

We don’t have a hard and fast checklist of requirements for this position, but the following attributes will likely describe the successful candidate: 

  • Excellent writing skills with a focus on accuracy and detail, and the ability to rapidly synthesize complex legal and policy documents into clear, engaging content;
  • 2–5 years previous experience directly managing social media accounts for an organization engaged in journalism, public policy, or related work; OR significant experience as a journalist or researcher who has actively and routinely used social media channels as part of your work;
  • Proficiency in the strategic use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, as well as social media management systems;
  • Can handle high-pressure, quick-deadline projects on high-profile, breaking news topics; 
  • Fluency in federal policy, current politics, and the way they are discussed online, as well as the ability to quickly learn new topics as they arise;
  • Team player, comfortable working in a fast-paced, collaborative environment;
  • Integrity and commitment to high journalistic standards of quality and accuracy. It’s great to be first, and we like to get attention, but it is always far more important to be correct, honest, and trustworthy;
  • Solid organizational skills with the ability to complete projects and handle multiple tasks simultaneously, as well as the ability to keep track of American Oversight’s several and varying areas of investigation;
  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (including Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects or Animate) and previous experience in creating videos for distribution on social media are also very helpful.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and retaining 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 $65,000 – $80,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

Also, 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.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send application materials, including a résumé and a one-page cover letter that contains links to social media accounts you have managed, to [email protected] with “Digital Engagement Editor” 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 March 11, 2019.

Paralegal

American Oversight is a nonprofit organization 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 expose federal and state governments to public scrutiny. As a result of our lawsuits: the Trump administration shut down its sham voter fraud commission when faced with the prospect of transparency; the public learned that Scott Pruitt used the EPA for his personal benefit and outsourced policy to polluters and chemical companies; the Department of Justice admitted that the President lied about being wiretapped at Trump Tower; and a judge ordered the State Department to release records related to Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine that the agency had refused to turn over to Congress.

Litigation and legal work are central to our efforts, and we are looking for a highly motivated 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, editing and cite checking legal briefs.
  • Coordinate service of process and/or case filings.
  • Organize and maintain internal 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-level open records act requests.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • An interest in American Oversight’s mission of government transparency and accountability.
  • At least one year of work experience.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Strong organizational abilities.
  • 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 processors and spreadsheets.

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 $45,000 to $60,000, commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package available.

Also, 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 here.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send a 1-page cover letter describing your relevant experience and interest along with your resume to [email protected] with “Paralegal” in the subject line. Please indicate in your submission 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 by February 7, 2020.

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