Legal and Policy Officer

Job Title: Legal and Policy Officer

Reports to: Executive Director

Salary: £27,000 up to £37,000 for exceptional candidates, depending on experience (plus a 6% pension contribution)

Deadline for applications: 23rd February 2020

Start date: ASAP

Duration: Permanent

Role

The Legal and Policy officer will work with the Executive Director and the Scotland Director to achieve our goals, adding dedicated resource and expertise to the wider team’s work on strategic litigation, political advocacy and public campaigning.

The Legal and Policy Officer will work to achieve policy goals across all three main areas of Open Rights Group’s work - privacy, free speech online and government surveillance - and will use a variety of tools to deliver victories in the courts of law and public opinion. They will have a particular focus on data protection and the adtech industry initially, where we are challenging illegal profiling and profligate sharing of personal data. They will have a role developing support for other groups whose work is impacted by digital privacy, such as groups challenging immigration and welfare practices.

The ideal candidate will have strong communications, advocacy and management skills and aptitude.

About Open Rights Group

Our mission is to support the development of a healthy, vibrant and fair society which allows individuals and businesses to live and flourish in the digital age. We do this by working to protect and extend human rights and civil liberties which history tells us are often overlooked or eroded during periods of rapid change.

Our activities include public education and awareness raising, constructive engagement in policy making using our expert research, campaigning and where necessary legal interventions.

We have three areas of work: digital privacy, free speech online and government surveillance. We are a membership organisation and we work to protect digital rights in the UK.

Open Rights Group’s main office is based in London, UK and we have a small office in Edinburgh.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a CV and covering letter (no longer than 2 sides of A4), setting out how you are suited to the role by an email via the button below by 23rd February. Please ensure your email has the subject heading ‘Legal and Policy Officer’, and that all attachments are sent in PDF format. Please email your application to al@openrightsgroup.org.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held in Central London in February. Please hold 4th and 5th March free for interviews.

Key Responsibilities

Legal support

  • Support Open Rights Group’s strategic litigation efforts and provide relevant policy content for use in legal documents and findings;

  • Conduct legal research and draft legal memos;

  • Feed into potential litigation strategies which may advance Open Rights Group’s policy goals;

  • Manage relationships with external counsel and maintain excellent relationships with partners;

Research

  • Support the planning and implementation of key research projects;

  • Compile and analyse data related to Open Rights Group’s work;

  • Coordinate with the team to identify area of work which align with Open Rights Group policy areas;

  • Ensuring Open Rights Group’s policy work fits within the wider policy landscape and that the policy team remains up to date with relevant research and policy developments;

Support Open Rights Group’s policy team

  • Draft briefings on key areas of Open Rights Group’s work in advance of meetings;

  • Coordinate meeting follow up and ensure agreed actions are captured and taken forward;

  • Plan domestic and foreign travel in service of Open Rights Group’s policy work;

  • Arrange and attend external meetings with key stakeholders;

  • Develop and manage new policy and advocacy projects;

  • Exceptional candidates will be expected to line manage junior staff as required.

Producing policy materials

  • Draft reports, briefing papers, formal correspondence, blog posts, presentations, and other documents articulating Open Rights Group’s policy positions;

  • Coordinate team members’ input into public-facing documents, and obtain sign off for these documents from the relevant members of the team;

  • Liaise with other members of the team to identify effective ways to present and disseminate policy messages.

  • Draft and publish Open Rights Group’s weekly policy update;

Engagement with key stakeholders

  • Develop Open Rights Group’s relationships with allies across Government, legislative bodies, international organisations, and NGOs;

  • Maintain regular communication with private sector stakeholders across Open Rights Group work;

  • Identify potential new allies across the public, private and third sectors, and coordinate outreach to expand Open Rights Group’s networks.

  • Support as required on engagement with the UK Parliament, other national legislative bodies such as the US Congress, and regional assemblies such as the European Parliament;

  • Feed into Open Rights Group’s media engagement around key policy issues.

Key Contacts

The Legal and Policy Officer will be directly managed by the Executive Director. They will work closely with colleagues across the broader team to maintain alignment of Open Rights Group’s legal and policy goals, and collaborate within the team to effectively disseminate Open Rights Group’s policy messages.

Length and Salary

The Legal and Policy Officer will be employed on a full-time permanent contract. The annual salary is between £27,000 and £30,000 per annum pro rata less any required deductions for income tax and national insurance. For exceptional candidates pay up to £37,000 will be considered, resulting in line management of junior staff becoming part of the role. The position will be based in the London office. Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK. Open Rights Group is an equal opportunity employer.

Person Specification

CRITERIA

ESSENTIAL:

  • A law degree or legal qualification in any jurisdiction. 

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 

  • Legal research skills. 

  • Ability to work with and manage relationships with counsel and partner organisations.

  • Legal research skills. 

  • Ability to work with and manage relationships with counsel and partner organisations. 

  • A high degree of self-motivation. 

  • Ability speak to publicly, including with the media and at conferences and meetings. 

  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills. 

  • Creativity and energy in approaching a workload consisting of large long-term projects. 

  • Meticulous time and file management abilities. 

  • Ability to work under pressure. 

  • Confident using word processors, spreadsheets, email, and the Internet for research purposes. 

  • Familiarity with international and domestic policy matters relating digital and human rights. 

  • An interest in and aptitude for political and parliamentary engagement. 

  • Right to work in the UK

DESIRABLE:

  • Project management experience. 

  • Knowledge of digital rights law.