Research Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies

The Cato Institute

Washington, DC


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)  

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Your resume
  • A truly excellent cover letter detailing:

              How your experience is relevant to the position 

              Your passion for Cato’s mission 

              Your salary requirements

  • A legal writing sample that will have us beating down your door without a warrant

 Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:

Questions can be directed to Claire Kittle Dixon, Executive Director of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: [email protected].

There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide consulting and recruiting services at no cost to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that clearly and directly focus on advancing the principles of economic freedom, free enterprise, free trade, free speech, property rights, rule of law, and limited regulation.