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We are accepting applications for a full-time, post-graduate Legal Fellowship beginning in fall 2023. For a period of at least 12 months, the Legal Fellow will work with researchers at the Legal Priorities Project (LPP) and practitioners in our network on projects aimed at protecting the well-being of future generations and reducing existential risk.

Your work will support a growing number of litigators and policymakers who share these priorities.

If you are interested in working on one or more legal projects in fields such as artificial intelligence, biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, or institutional design, as well as helping shape LPP's long-term strategy and priorities, we invite you to apply. The application deadline is October 30th, 2022, at 11:59 pm Anywhere on Earth.

About LPP

LPP began with a small group of Harvard Law School students motivated to do the most good with their law careers. What started as an idea in 2018 turned into a global organization with affiliates at top law schools, a comprehensive academic research agenda, multiple publications on legal longtermism, and strong connections with leading organizations in academia, the effective altruism community, and public policy. These include Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Oxford, Australian National University, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Strathmore University, OpenAI, the Centre for the Governance of AI, and the United Nations, among others.

At LPP, you will enjoy:

  • Working together with highly motivated people who care deeply about doing good with their careers.
  • An intellectually stimulating work environment with minimal bureaucratic barriers and an orientation toward action.
  • An opportunity to work on some of the world’s most pressing problems in an emerging field.
  • Opportunities to connect with a broader community of policymakers, researchers, scientists, organizers, grantmakers, and others who care about protecting the well-being of future generations and reducing existential risk.

If you’re new to these topics or looking to learn more, you might enjoy reviewing our research agenda. If you’re interested in learning more but don’t think you’re a fit for our Legal Fellowship, you can instead fill out this Expression of Interest Form or join our Newsletter. If you find this fellowship interesting, you may also want to consider Open Philanthropy’s Technology Policy Fellowship (applications due September 15th, 2022).

About the fellowship

This opportunity is open to excellent law students who will graduate with a J.D. or LL.M. in the spring or summer of 2023 and can join LPP for at least 12 months, which may be extended by mutual agreement. With mentorship and support from LPP researchers and practitioners in our network, the Legal Fellow will design and implement one or more projects related to LPP’s focus areas.

Projects may include:

  • Drafting model legislation or commenting on regulatory proposals.
  • Interviewing subject-matter experts, analyzing recent developments in the law, and reviewing existing research to develop more accurate models of legal and policy intervention points.
  • Preparing reports and advisories to help practitioners, policymakers, international governance bodies, grantmakers, and researchers direct their efforts toward the most promising opportunities.
  • Developing and contributing to legal theories for and contributing to impact litigation strategies to protect future generations and limit existential risks.
  • Writing scholarly projects for publications related to one of our focus areas.

The Legal Fellow will also attend regular team meetings, give occasional presentations on their projects, and provide feedback on other team members’ work.

Selection criteria

LPP selects Legal Fellows on the basis of:

  • Commitment to helping others.
  • Strong reasoning skills and commitment to seeking the truth. Our goal is to do the most good we can for others, and we believe this requires rigorously evaluating our theories of impact and changing our minds if we find evidence that challenges our beliefs.
  • Orientation toward effectiveness (finding the interventions and tools that help others the most) and willingness to prioritize amongst competing options.
  • Some familiarity with longtermism, which we use to guide our research priorities.
  • Relevant professional experience suited to your chosen project.
  • Academic qualifications, including your academic record in law school.
  • Legal research and communication ability, including ability to explain complex ideas in simple terms to a wide range of audiences, both orally and in writing.
  • Interest in and engagement with one or more of our priority cause areas: (i) law & governance of artificial intelligence, (ii) law & governance of synthetic biology and biorisk, (iii) institutional design & decision-making, and (iv) meta-research.
  • Ability to work well in teams and to provide and receive constructive feedback.
  • Ability to carry out self-directed projects with limited need for supervision. LPP will provide supervision, and we pride ourselves on creating work structures that enable mentorship, skill development, and deep feedback. But the topics we work on are novel and will often require you to take principal responsibility for developing a new idea or ensuring that a project succeeds.

Further details

  • Format: The Legal Fellowship will last at least 12 months and full-time, starting no later than October 2023. By default, work will be conducted remotely. LPP will open an office in Cambridge, MA (estimated Spring 2023), which may allow the Legal Fellow to work in-person for some or all of the fellowship period. We cannot guarantee in-person work during the fellowship period at this time. Depending on the project, the Legal Fellow may also spend part of their time working directly with a partner organization, which may require in-person work at another location. The Legal Fellow may also be asked to attend occasional in-person conferences or co-working sessions or complete other work-related travel funded by LPP.
  • Funding: LPP does not guarantee funding for this fellowship but will work with the selected Legal Fellow(s) to assist them in applying for funding from external sponsors. Note: In addition to the funding sources typically available to graduating law students (e.g., EJW, Skadden, Justice Catalyst, and school-specific funds), LPP will assist selected Legal Fellows in pursuing funding from other philanthropic sources.
  • Diversity and equal opportunity employment: LPP is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our organization. We welcome applications from all sections of society. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability status, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws. If you have a disability or additional need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

Application process

We welcome your application and have done our best to make the application process as simple and time-efficient as possible:

  • First round: Please complete this application form. The deadline is October 30th, 2022, at 11:59 pm Anywhere on Earth. We will review all applications and will send invitations to the second round by November 11th. The form asks you to submit:
    • A resume;
    • A list of three references;
    • A writing sample not exceeding 3,000 words that directly relates to one or more of our priorities;
    • A project proposal not exceeding 2,000 words;
      • In your proposal, please describe your interest in legal longtermism and your specific interests in related work in the future. Please note that the project(s) you propose will not necessarily be the focus of your work during the fellowship; if you are selected, we will work with you to refine your proposal.
    • Short-answer response to two questions:
      • What excites you about LPP’s mission? (Limit: 300 words)
      • How do you hope to use your career to do good in the world? (Limit: 150 words)
  • Second round: The second round will consist of one or more online interviews. We may also invite finalists to complete a work trial.
  • We plan to make the final decisions by November 30th. If you need an earlier decision, we may be able to arrange that in exceptional circumstances. Please be in touch using the email address below.

If you have any questions about the process, please get in touch with us at careers@legalpriorities.org.