The Niskanen Center seeks an enthusiastic Legal Research Associate to support our legal work through representation of stakeholders in administrative proceedings, federal court, and advancing policy initiatives.


Department: Legal Department

Location: Washington, D.C.

Schedule:  Flexible hybrid, minimum 2 days in-office per week

Job Status: Full-Time

Experience: 1-2 years of professional experience (can include undergraduate internship experience) in social or environmental advocacy work

Salary: $63,000-68,000/year based on experience, plus a generous benefits package

Reports to:  Chief Counsel

About the Niskanen Center

Named “the most interesting think tank in American politics” by Time magazine in March 2023, the Niskanen Center is a public policy think tank and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening liberal democratic governance and promoting widespread prosperity and opportunity. Our vision of market liberalism is rooted in an effective public sector and a competitive private sector and is committed to upholding the principles of a pluralistic and open society that encourages engagement, cooperation, discussion, and learning.  Our expertise covers a diverse range of urgent policy issues including energy, immigration, housing, and criminal justice.

Position Overview

The Niskanen Center seeks an enthusiastic Legal Research Associate to support our legal work through representation of stakeholders in administrative proceedings, federal court, and advancing policy initiatives. Our work focuses on permitting and siting (including opposing unneeded fossil fuel projects and promoting much-needed transmission development), decarbonized energy innovation, and regulatory reform for clean energy infrastructure, among other things. We aim to push the courts, as well as political, regulatory, and industry leaders  to provide essential public goods and infrastructure, foster market competition and innovation, invest in state capacity, and not impede productive enterprise. The legal team also supports and collaborates on broader coalitional policy work, including on Niskanen’s climate and immigration initiatives. 

The Legal Research Associate would provide litigation, research, and program support for Niskanen’s Legal Department (as well as Niskanen’s Climate team in collaborative projects) in working to advance the clean energy transition and representing people and non-profit organizations opposing unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure in court and before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This individual would report to Niskanen’s Chief Counsel.

Key Responsibilities

  • Perform legal research at the direction of attorneys in support of filing motions, briefs, and comments in court and with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, on issues related to natural gas pipelines, electric transmission, and other energy-related topics.
  • Manage client portfolios by researching and identifying potential clients, conducting intakes, serving as the point of contact for clients, and submitting filings on their behalf in federal proceedings. Clients may include landowners, small business owners, fisherpeople, and non-profit environmental conservation organizations affected by energy infrastructure such as natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines.
  • Lead community outreach by directing engagement with frontline organizers and arranging travel.
  • Assist in tracking energy developments. 
  • Write blog posts on ongoing litigation and energy infrastructure developments, with the opportunity for the Legal Research Associate to choose and research topics of interest. 
  • Schedule calls and coordinate meetings with clients, partner organizations, and other collaborators.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • A commitment to the Niskanen Center’s mission;
  • BA/BS, ideally in political or environmental studies/science;
  • At least 1 year of legal or environmental advocacy work (can include undergraduate internship experience);
  • Demonstrated interest in climate change, energy, and/or the environment;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills and comfortability engaging outside individuals (including clients), organizations, and stakeholders;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently in a team environment; and
  • Ability to represent Niskanen in a professional manner for conferences, client communications, and collaborations with advocacy groups.

Benefits and Diversity Commitment 

The Niskanen Center offers a comprehensive employee benefits package, including health, dental, and vision insurance, federal holidays off, unlimited paid leave, a 403(b) plan, and commuter benefits for D.C. area employees.

The Niskanen Center is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, veteran status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and beliefs, and we strongly encourage you to apply.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis beginning August 8, 2023, and the position is open until filled. Please include a cover letter, resume, and writing sample.

Use the link below to apply. No phone calls, please.