Policy Counsel

Program · Washington, District of Columbia
Department Program
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced


Job Title: Policy Counsel

Position Status:  Full-time, salaried, exempt 

Work Location: Washington, DC (working remotely from home during the COVID-19 pandemic)

Date Posted: January 13, 2022 

Position Summary:

Free Press works to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities. We work at the intersection of media and technology to strengthen our democracy.


The policy counsel works on cutting-edge, high-profile proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission, Congress and the courts, as well as other federal and state agencies. The policy counsel works to advance media ownership diversity, broadcast regulation and media reparations — putting pressure on policy makers to enact and enforce media policy in the public interest. The policy counsel’s portfolio will primarily focus on media ownership policy before the Congress, the FCC and the federal courts. In addition they will focus on efforts to stop runaway media consolidation, an effort core to our mission. The policy counsel will track all related legislative, rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings and seek to advance Free Press Action’s positions therein. The policy counsel will also help draft and advance our media reparations policy platform, and hold the intersections of our media reparations, media ownership and journalism policy portfolios.

The policy counsel works as part of a cross-disciplinary team at Free Press, in coordination with coalition partners, strategic allies and outside counsel, to maximize available resources and build our capacity to challenge well-financed opposition. The policy counsel conducts meetings with congressional and agency staff, analyzes legislation, writes briefs and advisory memos, conducts legal research, contributes to position papers, and files comments in regulatory and adjudicatory proceedings. The policy counsel also closely collaborates with allied organizations, represents Free Press in coalition meetings, presents at conferences, speaks to press on the record regarding issues in their portfolio, and writes blog posts, press releases, and articles for a range of outlets and audiences.

The policy counsel reports to the associate legal director and senior counsel. This job requires flexibility in work schedule, generally aligning to U.S. East Coast hours and is based in Washington, D.C. The position requires evening and weekend work, especially to handle rapid response needs. Frequent domestic travel, including multi-day trips, will be expected as offices reopen, and as in-person events recommence.

Free Press is composed of two separate organizations, Free Press and Free Press Action Fund. Both entities share the same overall mission and employees will have time assigned to one or both entities. This job description refers collectively to the two organizations as “Free Press.”

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Research: Conduct extensive legal, factual and economic research on media, telecommunications and technology policies and proceedings directly related to Free Press’ priority campaigns. 
  • Issue area expertise: Develop and maintain broad knowledge of media, telecommunications, and/or technology issues, with special focus on federal policy, statutory analysis, and constitutional issues, including First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, civil rights action, and federalism issues.
  • Writing & legal arguments: Draft, review, revise and file precise and persuasive arguments, including agency comments, replies, pleadings, briefs, appeals and other regulatory and court-docket submissions, to advance Free Press positions. Write articles for publication in a variety of outlets and participate in press briefings.
  • Spokesperson: Promote Free Press’ mission and policy positions through correspondence and meetings with staff of members of Congress, the FCC, the FTC, the Department of Justice, and other regulatory bodies. Prepare and/or deliver testimony for legislative and regulatory proceedings.
  • Legal analysis: Analyze existing laws and pending legislation and prepare memos and reports on how such legislation supports or undermines Free Press policy positions. Identify, analyze, prioritize and pursue opportunities to develop relationships with academics and leaders of key institutions and organizations.
  • Communicate policy positions — from highly technical to very general — to a wide range of audiences, including staff and allies, government decision-makers, press, and the general public.
  • Coalition engagement: Represent Free Press in networks and coalitions to advance short- and long-term campaign goals. 
  • Advance race equity:  Clearly and consistently articulate an understanding of racial equity and structural racism and the centrality of this analysis to the work Free Press does and how we operate. Integrate that knowledge into work projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities and decisions on race, class, gender and other group identities within the context of job responsibilities and projects. 
  • Cross-team collaboration: Engage, through a consultative approach primarily with policy and campaign staff, to address media and technology policy interventions; contribute to formulation of policy and campaign strategy. Encourage cross-team collaboration and contribute to strategic alignment through communication and engagement with internal teams.

Desired Skills and Attributes:

  • Demonstrated ability to manage details, solve problems, and follow through on assignments with a minimum of direct supervision.
  • Must be able to adapt or modify plans, timelines or processes in response to rapidly changing circumstances and opportunities. 
  • Clear communication skills essential; strong public speaking skills desired. 
  • Experience with group facilitation, meeting management and project evaluation; ability to build and maintain constructive and effective relationships both inside and outside the organization.
  • Ability to work effectively with people at all levels , including staff, consultants, colleagues, volunteers, members/constituents, and the general public. Must be confident, outgoing, courteous, and professional in all written and verbal communications.
  • Demonstrated ability to be entrusted with sensitive information and conduct daily activities with the utmost professionalism and integrity.
  • May require database-management skills with ability to manipulate, analyze, and interpret data and produce reports.
  • Must have a commitment to racial equity and experience working with communities of color
  • Must be a creative self-starter, able to work independently and with limited oversight to accomplish agreed upon objectives and to evaluate results
  • Must be able to work under tight deadlines, navigate competing priorities and effectively adjust work plans to respond to emergent challenges or opportunities
  • Must be able to remain positive, tactful and composed under pressure
  • Must be a team player with a low-ego approach to collaboration with both internal and external colleagues
  • Must be able to develop and maintain relationships with a wide range of external organizations
  • Must demonstrate excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
  • Spanish language fluency is a plus
  • Must value and respect differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability and socioeconomic circumstance
  • Dedication to Free Press’ mission of fighting for everyone’s rights to connect and communicate, in addition to the overall success of the organization 

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctorate degree required. Background in public policy, political science, communications, community development and organizing, or related fields will indicate aptitude for the daily work this job requires. 
  • 3+ years of directly relevant experience in media, technology and telecommunications policy is preferred; nonprofit and organizing experience preferred.
  • Strong writing and sharp editing skills required. Must be able to present complex and technical topics to a wide audience. 
  • Strong interest in and knowledgeable of media and technology issues and demonstrated experience working on those or similar issues.
  • Ability to work across teams and the entire organization to help problem solve, triage competing priorities, and generate ideas that will innovate existing or create new projects, campaigns, and programs.
  • Experience supervising employees, volunteers and interns a plus.
  • Ability to effectively work with highly sensitive personnel, financial, operational and political information.
  • Attention to detail, flexibility and demonstrated capacity to operate in a fast-paced environment.
  • Must have ability to succeed in a predominately telework/remote office environment, including working with an off-site staff, adopting and maintaining strong digital security practices, and fostering connection and community with colleagues located throughout the U.S.

Covid - 19 Vaccination:

All Free Press employees must be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or have an approved medical or religious/ethical/moral accommodation. 


Free Press is committed to offering competitive pay and generous benefits, including group medical insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, retirement benefits, health-reimbursement accounts and paid family leave. Annual paid time off is a total of nine weeks, including vacation, health-care leave and holidays.


This position is categorized as a “tier 2” position, in the context of five possible functional classifications at Free Press, ranging from coordinator (tier one) to executive (tier five). 


The starting salary at Free Press for a policy counsel who meets the above qualifications with
3-5 years of experience is $65,000-$70,000
5-7 years of experience is $75,000 - $85,000

7-9 years of experience is $85,000 - $90,000

Starting salary is based on the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience. To counter pay inequality and uphold internal parity, we use a nonnegotiable starting salary system, while benchmarking our pay to competitive markets in the nonprofit sector. 

How to apply:

Complete our online application at the link on the top right of this page. Fully answering the application questions is an important part of the application process; 250 words or no more than a full paragraph in response to each question will help us understand your thinking.

Please add "apps.bamboohr.com" to your contact list so you won't miss any emails from us regarding the application.

Free Press is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are actively seeking to build a diverse and inclusive team with a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. People of color, women, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, gender-nonconforming and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

If you meet some of the qualifications above, we encourage you to apply or to reach out for more information. We know groups subjected to systemic oppression– including people of color, women, people from working class backgrounds, and people who identify as LGBTQ – are less likely to apply unless and until they meet every requirement for a job. Therefore, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other communities which are marginalized.

Free Press provides reasonable accommodations for the application, interview, or any other aspect of the employee selection process to applicants with disabilities. Please email amartyn@freepress.net to request an accommodation.

Key dates:

This position was posted the week of January 10, 2022. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and we encourage candidates to submit applications by January 30, 2022. This search will remain open until the position is filled. The ideal candidate will be available to begin work in March 2022.

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  • Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience