Legislative Counsel

Tempe, AZ
Full Time

The Institute for Justice, the national law firm for liberty, is excited to announce an incredible opportunity for a dedicated and innovative Legislative Counsel to join our team. IJ is the country’s leading public-interest law firm in the areas of economic liberty, free speech, private property rights, and educational choice. We're committed to shaping a freer society, and this role is pivotal in our pursuit of justice, protection of individual liberties, and the defense of constitutional rights. 

As a Legislative Counsel at the Institute for Justice, you will play an integral part in developing and executing legislative strategies focused on eliminating unnecessary occupational licensing laws and burdens, particularly for lower-income occupations. Additionally, you'll work on legislation to safeguard property rights from abusive fines and fees, eminent domain, and civil forfeiture. 

Key Responsibilities: 

Developing Legislative Strategies 

  • Conduct research to identify legislative reform opportunities in various states 

  • Draft bills based on model legislation and design supporting materials 

  • Collaborate with various teams and stakeholders within IJ 

  • Identify, manage relationships with bill sponsors, clients, and grassroots advocates 

  • Forge coalitions with diverse organizations and plan media events to garner support for legislation 

Executing Legislative Strategies 

  • Monitor bills to ensure alignment with IJ's strategies 

  • Lobby state legislators and assist grassroots advocates in meetings 

  • Organize testifiers for committee hearings and provide written testimony 

  • Negotiate with bill opponents and draft amendments 

  • Publicly advocate IJ's model policies and legislation 

  • Manage campaign webpages using government affairs software 


  • J.D. degree 

  • Minimum 1 year lobbying state legislators 

  • Legislative or government experience 

  • Proficiency in occupational licensing research 

  • Familiarity with government affairs software (e.g., Quorum, FiscalNote) 

  • Skilled in grassroots campaign management 

  • Effective communication, persuasion, and negotiation skills in diverse settings 

  • Proficient in legal research, analysis, and legislation drafting 

  • Excellent organizational skills for diverse projects 

  • Effective independent work under tight deadlines 

  • Adaptive to new projects and challenges 

  • Leadership aptitude for complex legislative efforts 

Additional Requirements: 

  • Frequent travel to state capitols 

  • Weekend work during state legislative sessions (January to May) 

  • Representation of IJ at 3-4 conferences during the summer and fall months 


  • Hybrid work schedule, requiring three days in-office each week; four fully remote weeks a year 

  • Flexible work hours with our core business hours of 10am and 4pm 

  • Smart casual dress code; casual Fridays

  • Health, Dental, and Vision insurance (IJ covers 100% of individual premiums) 

  • Free Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, and Life insurance plans 

  • HSA employer contributions 

  • 401(k) with employer matches 

  • Generous PTO including a paid personal day and 12 paid holidays 

To Apply: 

To apply, please submit your resume, a cover letter detailing how your experience and professional interests will ensure success in this position and a writing sample.  

In addition to our Arlington, VA headquarters, this position will also be open in IJ's  Austin, Texas, and Tempe, Arizona offices. Must be admitted to and in good standing with the Texas or Arizona state bar. 


IJ is an equal opportunity employer.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At IJ we value a diverse workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.


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