Research Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies

Cato Institute
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Aug 22

Position description

Cato’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies is ground zero-for cutting-edge constitutional advocacy. Whether your passion is vindicating individual rights like free speech, self-defense, and occupational freedom; dumping Chevron deference; ending the immoral and ineffective war on drugs; or confining the federal government to its enumerated powers—you’ll find outlets for it here. Do you hate government-empowering nonsense doctrines like qualified immunity, aggregation, and rational basis review? So do we. But don’t just complain about overweening government—do something about it by joining our dedicated team of constitutional avengers. 


About Cato  


The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank dedicated to advancing individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peaceful international relations. Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th-century England that presented a vision of a society free from excessive government power. Cato’s Letters inspired the heroes of the American Revolution, and we strive to bring the timeless principles of that revolution—individual liberty, limited government, and free markets—to all people.


This role will be based in our Washington, DC office. You will be required to be in the office at least every Thursday and Friday, but we welcome your presence more often!


The Cato Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.




As a Research Fellow in Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies, you will work to thwart Leviathan by spending every waking minute devising creative ways to prevent government officials from exercising powers they do not lawfully possess and riding roughshod over constitutionally protected rights. (Just kidding—we sometimes break for meals and happy hours.) The bread-and-butter work of a Research Fellow in the CCS includes writing Supreme Court amicus briefs, writing amicus briefs for other courts, and writing blog posts, op-eds, and impassioned Twitter threads about those amicus briefs; devising and executing strategic plans for minimizing government, maximizing liberty, and generally making life difficult for freedom-stealing bureaucrats; and educating policymakers, the public, and whoever happens to be sitting next to you on a plane about the virtues of liberty, limited government, and a properly engaged judiciary.   


Things you will not do as a Research Fellow include filling out timesheets; anything involving discovery; exchanging vituperative emails with opposing counsel over fripperies; and flying cross-country for a ten-minute status conference.  


  • Law degree plus a burning desire to vindicate liberty and make government officials respect constitutional limits they tend to ignore  
  • Peerless legal writing skills 
  • Be in Cato’s Washington, DC office every Thursday and Friday
  • Candidate must be barred in at least one state or the District of Columbia


  • 3+ years of experience post-law school
  • Deep understanding of and demonstrated commitment to classical liberal values  
  • Exceptional academic credentials and active bar membership 
  • Legal experience at a firm, public interest organization, or judicial clerkship 
  • Expertise in constitutional law and/or appellate advocacy  
  • High EQ and the ability to converse respectfully with all kinds of people in all kinds of settings 
  • Sense of humor (but you already knew that)  

Application instructions

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