Senior Litigation Director


A strategic senior litigator, devoted to the cause of liberty, to join our leadership team and direct high-profile constitutional litigation.

About CIR:

CIR is America’s premier nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to the defense of individual liberties against state and federal government abuse. Approaching its 35th anniversary year, CIR attorneys have argued six cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, including first amendment and racial preference victories and the single most important limit on the scope of Congress’s commerce power—as well as achieving a host of other landmark victories for individual rights in other courts.

Reporting on CIR’s first campus speech victory in the Supreme Court, The Washington Post noted that “the Center for Individual Rights takes particular pleasure in battling politically correct administrators who cut down the free expression rights of students and protestors.” We still do. Indeed, our collaborative team finds joy in all the work we pursue to advance freedom, which is increasingly important as free speech denials, distortions of equality under law, and other individual rights violations have multiplied over the last few years.

CIR believes that enlightenment ideals had their greatest expression in America’s founding and post-Civil War amendments, with a charter for limited government and guarantees for civil liberties that protect individual rights and promote human flourishing. CIR team members are principled, zealous advocates for restoring that charter and its attendant benefits.

CIR’s strategic model, which includes partnerships with outside cooperating counsel, has made it a nimble champion able to punch well above its weight. It garnered special attention in Steven Teles’s respected study as a model “second-generation” freedom-based public interest law firm. With new leadership, CIR is updating its strategies and expanding internally in several ways. This new executive position is an opportunity for the right person to help lead this second-generation public interest law firm and participate in transforming it into a vibrant, next-generation law firm.

Position Description:

The Senior Litigation Director with 12+ years of active trial and appellate litigation experience will channel his or her passion for advancing individual liberty, deep knowledge of constitutional law, and entrepreneurial skills to develop litigation strategies in service of CIR’s mission, identify specific opportunities for consequential litigation, supervise client development and case filings, and manage the subsequent litigation docket with other litigators inside and outside of CIR. In short, the Senior Litigation Director will be primarily responsible for incubating, managing, and winning major landmark victories that defend or advance individual liberties.

The Senior Litigation Director will report directly to the President and work closely with CIR’s long-time General Counsel to refine CIR’s litigation practice areas and expand filings in several areas, including CIR’s Project to Restore Competitive Federalism. The Senior Litigation Director will manage most of the new litigation with additional attorneys and may assume expanded responsibilities over time as the General Counsel transitions to another role. From day one, the Senior Litigation Director will be the chief case development strategist and a core member of CIR’s executive leadership team.

In that role, the Senior Litigation Director will also work with other CIR directors, outside cooperating attorneys, law professors, CIR’s clients, and prospective clients. The right candidate is interested in all aspects of the public interest law enterprise—and is a creative and constructive change agent to help CIR continually improve and increase its impact in a competitive environment.

The Senior Litigation Director will also serve as a CIR spokesperson on cases and related substantive matters with the press, in coalition gatherings, and in academic settings. In sum, the Senor Litigation Director will not only develop and win individual landmark cases but will also set the stage for even greater victories through publications, media appearances, public advocacy, and coalition building, and serve as a sought-after national spokesperson for individual rights.

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Twelve or more years of active trial and appellate practice, with a meaningful record of relevant, first chair roles. Substantial experience in public interest law is a strong plus.
  • A demonstrated passion for promoting individual liberty and a deep understanding of its constitutional foundations.
  • Exceptional legal writing and editing skills, plus the ability to write persuasively for both public and legal audiences in law reviews, op-eds, and online publications.
  • Substantial experience working with and training other attorneys and supervising their litigation work.
  • A collaborative spirit, leavened with sense of humor to challenge government malefactors in a relentless and disciplined manner but without forgetting the bright side of life.
  • A willingness to travel for client and case development, litigation appearances, and other institutional purposes.

General Information:

The Center for Individual Rights’ mission has a nationwide focus. We select individual cases to set constitutional precedents that have broad applications. CIR has also positively influenced public policy and general public discourse.

CIR’s headquarters are in DC, although virtual work with some of our attorneys and cooperating counsel is increasingly common. The amount of time the Senior Litigation Director will need to spend in the DC office may depend on a variety of factors and is subject to individual discussion for a candidate who meets every other qualification

This is a full-time, permanent position. CIR is an equal opportunity employer that provides a generous compensation package that includes a competitive salary, premium medical and dental insurance, employer-paid retirement contributions, and other attractive benefits. CIR takes pride in its employees and encourages continuous professional growth, a meaningful personal and family life, and the pursuit of other intellectual and creative endeavors.

To Apply:

CIR expects this search to move forward quickly. Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials as soon as practicable in one PDF document:

  • A cover letter explaining why you meet each of the qualification listed above, why you want a career suing the government in the defense of liberty, and what sets you apart from other applicants, especially with regard to your strategic ability to advance CIR’s mission;
  • Your resume, including your educational and professional experience and a list of publications.

CIR has retained Steadfast LLC to help with this search, which is being conducted on an expedited basis. Steadfast is committed to ensuring that both hiring managers and applicants have a great experience in all stages of the recruiting process. Please submit your application materials in PDF form by email to:

Questions? Please contact us at Unfortunately, we’re not able to respond to phone calls but inquiries and applications will receive a response from our Steadfast partners.