Staff Attorney

Legal · San Francisco, California
Department Legal
Employment Type Full-Time - Exempt

Staff Attorneys advance digital rights by means of integrated legal advocacy, including: developing and prosecuting substantive lawsuits, filing amicus briefs, counseling clients, enforcing public records requests, lobbying legislators, communicating with the general public, helping develop EFF policy, and supporting the work of EFF’s activists and technologists.


Essential Functions:

Managing all aspects of litigation, including:

  • case and issue identification; factual development and investigation; legal research and writing; client identification and communications; co-counsel identification and communications where needed; and formulation of legal strategy;
  • litigating in federal and state courts, including meeting and management of deadlines; researching and drafting pleadings; client relationship-management and communication; coordinating and communicating with attorneys outside EFF (opposing counsel, co-counsel, parties’ counsel, etc); identifying and coordinating with outside experts and amici curiae; and court appearances and oral argument;
  • coordinating with other teams at EFF concerning interests implicated by litigation; formulating press strategy;
  • submitting amicus briefs in non-EFF litigation

Developing and communicating EFF policy positions, including:

  • identifying and articulating policy positions on emerging tech issues;
  • coordinating and participating in discussions across teams and subject-matter experts at EFF, including through participation in the EFF working group process, on the development of policy;
  • factual and legal research and writing;
  • collaborating with other stakeholders (NGOs, companies, academics) and subject-matter experts outside EFF on the development of, and advocacy for, EFF policy;
  • communicating policy positions to the public through blog posts, white papers, or providing commentary to the press;
  • communicating policy positions to government through testimony, formal comments, or other direct or indirect communications (e.g., administrative/regulatory rulemakings, lobbying)

Counseling clients on non or pre-litigation matters:

  • conducting intake of potential clients;
  • identifying legal issues, conducting legal research, and assessing legal risk for clients;
  • communicating risks to clients and counseling about legal options and alternatives for avoiding risks;
  • maintaining communication and relationships with clients; addressing questions and concerns clients have;
  • communicating with adverse parties (e.g., responding to demand letters)

Communicating EFF positions to the public, including:

  • providing spoken and written commentary to the press about EFF issues;
  • speaking about EFF issues at conferences, schools, or other public events;
  • writing about EFF issues for the public, including in blog posts, editorials, etc.;
  • maintaining dialogues and relationships with stakeholders (other NGOs, companies, government officials or employees, academics, private attorneys) working on issues relevant to digital rights

Organizational, administrative, and other support, including:

  • attending and contributing to team meetings;
  • providing summary of work, on a quarterly basis, for board book;
  • providing feedback, input, advice, or legal review to other members of the legal team or other teams at EFF;
  • coordinating interns and/or supervising their work;
  • travel;
  • tracking time for reporting lobbying hours and obtaining fees in litigation

Qualities We’re Seeking (i.e. Competencies)

In addition to legal and policy expertise, staff attorneys must have:

  • Experience and enjoyment exploring and advocating on digital rights issues.
  • Strong time management skills.
  • High level of organization, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Excellent research, analysis, written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent judgment, especially when dealing with complex policy issues and unexpected questions.
  • Must demonstrate care and respect toward coworkers, outside partners, members of the public, donors, and others with whom this role interacts;
  • Must work to positively and collaboratively resolve conflicts and overcome challenges
  • Must be able to understand and articulate with accuracy EFF’s mission, positions, and work
  • Must be available and responsive to colleagues, outside partners and others over email, phone, and online chat, with the ability to respond and reliably to time-sensitive requests for assistance and opportunities during agreed upon work hours;
  • Contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences including race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance


Required Education & Experience

  • Law degree
  • California Bar admission (which may occur after being hired by EFF)



Preferred Education & Experience

  • At least three years litigation experience.

Classification: Exempt, full-time

Expected hours of work: Typically Monday - Friday

Reports to:  Either an Assistant Director or a Director on the Legal Team

Supervisory responsibilities: None formally, but may supervise interns on specific projects

Physical Demands:  This position requires the ability to lift up to 5 lbs on occasion.

Location:  This is a full-time position at EFF’s offices in San Francisco.                                       


Commitment to Diversity

As an advocacy organization, EFF is committed to being part of a diverse community. Diversity of life experiences makes a big difference in how we identify and litigate legal issues, design privacy-enhancing software, and organize our activism. To that end, we deliberately seek applicants with different perspectives, identities, and experiences to build an inclusive workplace to better inform our advocacy and defense of freedom in our digital world. EFF is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people of all races, genders, ages, abilities, orientations, ethnicities, and national origins to apply.  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    San Francisco, California
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time - Exempt