Current Positions at Free Law Project

Free Law Project is a small but growing non-profit that uses technology, data, and advocacy to make the legal sector more equitable and competitive. Our constituents include organizations, researchers, journalists, and individuals that are engaging with the legal system, studying it, or building businesses to make it more competitive.

Questions or comments about the positions or about Free Law Project? Please contact: jobs@free.law. We enthusiastically welcome emails or other forms of engagement as you are considering your application. Applicants that show engagement with our organization or that have demonstrated an effort to understand our work will usually be at an advantage.

All of our positions are remote.

We're thrilled you're considering joining us.

Submit Your Application

Open Positions

Development Director (Part Time / Full Time / Contractor or Employee Structure Available)

Compensation: $70,000-90,000 / year

After many years slowly building our organization, Free Law Project is finally ready to hire its first development director. We are looking for an experienced fundraising professional that can take on this challenging and impactful role and show us how it's done.

Reporting directly to the executive director, the successful candidate will:

  • Work with our executive director to develop and execute a comprehensive fundraising plan and appeal schedule.
  • Develop and execute our annual giving campaign at the end of each year.
  • Manage all aspects of development, including major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation grants.
  • Work closely with prospects, donors, volunteers, and board members to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward their gifts.
  • Act as a frontline fundraiser and maintain a high-priority individual and major gift donor portfolio.
  • Identify, research, and evaluate prospective major gift, individual, corporate and foundation donors to build and grow prospect pipeline.
  • Research, write, and oversee the preparation of persuasive and accurate proposals, correspondence, and other development-related communication materials in support of the organization's fundraising activities.
  • Identify and execute fundraising opportunities via our existing tools and website.
  • Establish and maintain best practices as it relates to policies, systems, and procedures.
  • Represent the organization to its various constituencies.
  • We do not hold events.

Qualifications

  • Five or more years of progressively challenging experience with quantifiable results in all areas of fundraising (identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship)
  • Passion and commitment to open culture, open legal information, and improving the legal ecosystem
  • Proven success in major gifts identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, annual fund and staff management
  • Bachelor’s degree, advanced degree, or equivalent lived experiences
  • Preferred: Advanced fundraising certification
  • Excellent management skills
  • Demonstrated and creative problem-solver
  • Strong capital campaign experience
  • Nice-to-have: Technologically savvy or conversant, experience coding
  • Ability to be highly organized, efficient, and effective in task and time management
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with peers, board members, and volunteers
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills

Our Recent Successes

  • In May, President Biden signed the Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act, which we and our partners made possible.
  • Last month, we served more than 20 million people through our website, CourtListener.com. Through our alert system, we sent about 200,000 emails to our users.
  • Our browser extension, RECAP, recently got its 20,000th user, many of whom are journalists.
  • Our databases are large, with detailed information about:
    • 2.5 million minutes of oral argument audio
    • 200 million federal filings
    • 7 million opinions
    • 16,000 state and federal judges

If you are passionate about our work and believe it is an important element of the democratic system, we invite you to submit your application as described above.


Closed Positions

Legal Data Researcher (Temp/Contract)

Compensation: Can range from $20-50/hour, depending on skills

Hours: This role requires at least 20 hours per week, but can go up to full time. Some of those hours must be during 9:30-5:30PT.

We host a unique collection of information about judges that has been collected by librarians and researchers over a period of many years. We need help expanding it further and updating it with the latest available information. At present that will mean researching and adding biographical information for hundreds of California judges. We hope in the future to continue this project and that this position will continue being funded for additional work, but we cannot guarantee that at the moment.

For this position, you must:

  • Be proficient with spreadsheets and basic online data entry

For this position, you should:

  • Have experience researching and organizing information

  • Be able to work independently and flag issues as they arise

For this position, nice-to-haves are:

  • Familiarity with legal data and the judicial system

  • A background in legal research, librarianship, or information organization

If you think you may be able to help us with this project, please submit your application as described above. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Thank you!

Paid Summer Internship (Closed)

Every year, judges must file financial disclosure reports listing their investments and potential conflicts. For the past several years, we have worked with the federal government to collect these reports, and we now have a groundbreaking collection of thousands of reports that spans nearly a decade.

We also have a huge collection of judge profiles in our database. The task of our summer intern will be to combine these two collections of data so that judges, their financial disclosures, and their courtroom work are all in one big, transparent database.

To do this, the developer will need to:

  1. Convert the financial disclosure reports from TIFF files to PDF.

  2. Write a script to merge the new PDFs with the database.

  3. Update our website to expose this new resource.

  4. Write a blog post advertising the new tool to journalists, lawyers, and the public.

Our stack is Django, Postgresql, and Bootstrap.

The successful applicant will be paired with our lead developer, who will provide technical and process mentorship through the summer.

If you think you may be able to help us create this system, please submit your application as described above. Applications will be accepted until May 29th, and the internship will run until the end of August or your school's start date, if sooner.

Thank you!

RECAP Developer (Temp/Contract, Closed)

For this contract position, we are seeking an experienced JavaScript and Extension developer to add several distinct features to our RECAP Extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These extensions are used by tens of thousands of people, including journalists, lawyers, and researchers.

The general purpose of the RECAP Extension is to upload content from the PACER electronic court record system to our servers. Normally PDFs, Zips and HTML in the PACER system cost money to download, so our extension builds a mirror of this data to save people money.

You can learn more about these extensions here:

Learn more about RECAP

The tasks in scope for the successful applicant are the following:

  1. Determine why big PDFs and Zip files are not properly uploaded by the extension and fix the underlying issue.

  2. Add support to the extension for uploading zipped bundles of PDFs to our server.

  3. Use the extension to begin adding a link to every docket on PACER to start watching that docket on CourtListener.

  4. Add support to the RECAP extension for uploading PDFs and HTML from appellate courts on PACER.

Payments for each of the above tasks will be made according to agreed upon amounts and milestones.

A successful candidate for this position will have experience with the following:

  • Modern JavaScript development practices

  • Chrome/Firefox Web extension development

  • Excellent communication and analytical skills

The following are nice-to-haves:

  • Familiarity with the legal or PACER systems

  • Knowledge of the Github workflow and expertise with git

  • Experience working with open source code and in open-culture organizations

  • A gnawing frustration with the current legal ecosystem

If you think you may be able to help us launch this system, please submit your application above. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you!

Open Data Backend Developer (Closed)

For this contract position, we are looking for somebody to help us with two major initiatives that we expect to take around six months to complete.

The first initiative will be to gather and share a huge new collection of legal data that previously was only available behind a paywall. If successful, this project will collect millions of documents and make them freely available to the public.

The second initiative is to finally audit and complete our case law database. For the first time in history, thanks to the tireless work of innumerable people, a free, audited, and complete collection of case law is possible. We have been working with librarians for years to gather the data needed for this project, have gotten the work funded, and now just need the right person to make it happen. Like Wikipedia, once this is done, it'll never need to be done again.

If these projects are successful, we hope to hire you as a full time employee.

We're looking for somebody that has deep experience in the following:

  • Languages: Python, SQL

  • Database: Modeling, PostgreSQL

  • APIs: Django REST Framework, Django ORM & migrations

Excellent written communication and a demonstrated ability to work independently on larger technical projects are also important for this role.

Proficiency with the following is preferred, though expertise is not a must:

  • Celery distributed task queues including task canvases

  • Django framework

  • An understanding of the American legal system, with a particular expertise in its data and information flows

The following are nice-to-haves:

  • Scraping: lxml, XPath, Python requests, HTTP

  • Knowledge of the Github workflow and expertise with git

  • Experience working with open source code and in open-culture organizations

  • Experience or interest in developing extensions for Chrome or Firefox

  • A degree from a law school, school of information, or school of library science (or similar experience)

  • A gnawing frustration with the current legal ecosystem

If you think you may be able to help us launch this system, please submit your application above.

Thank you!

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