Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; or Virtual Office
TechFreedom, the premier market-oriented technology policy think tank, seeks an experienced antitrust lawyer to study, document and combat a populist frenzy sweeping across the political spectrum, channeling broad outrage about the tech sector, and demanding fundamental changes to antitrust law. This person will work closely with a second lawyer we are hiring to focus on consumer protection, privacy, content moderation, intermediary liability, etc. Together, these two scholars will study, document and combat the so-called “Techlash.” They will join our existing team of Internet lawyers.
Philosophically, we’re casting a wide net, looking for those who approach the ongoing Digital Revolution as fellow dynamists, preferring the messiness of experimentation over technocratic promises of predictability and order.
We prefer candidates based in Washington, D.C., but will consider exceptional candidates based elsewhere — especially the San Francisco Bay area and Brussels. Remote candidates must be open to regular travel to D.C., and generally greater flexibility. Regular trips to D.C. would be required and at least two days per month in the D.C. area expected.
About Us: TechFreedom’s offices are located in Washington, D.C., but our work addresses state, national, and international policy considerations. We advance a philosophy of dynamism in tech policy debates: optimism about the future, humility about anyone’s ability to predict the course of technological change, and skepticism about technocratic attempts to engineer a better future through regulation. We aim to transcend traditional political and industry divides with a principled message. We take deep dives into legal and policy issues and produce a variety of materials, including comments before regulatory agencies, amicus briefs in legal cases, and briefing materials for Congressional offices. Our experts are respected as thought leaders, participating regularly on panel discussions, convening our own working groups with other experts, commenting to the media, and more.
Our Approach to Competition Policy: Just a few years ago, policymakers were still celebrating the entrepreneurs who led the Digital Revolution. Now they’re clamoring to jail business leaders — and increasingly blaming the Internet for society’s ills. Likewise, after three decades of unparalleled digital dynamism, many now assume that today’s “Big Tech” giants are locked into their market positions forever, that disruptive innovation has ceased… that the Internet has reached “The End of History.” Such thinking is driving calls for completely changing how we govern the digital realm, especially competition law.
Across the political spectrum, populists insist the consumer welfare standard that has guided antitrust law for decades should be abandoned — so competition regulators can make highly subjective policy decisions through antitrust enforcement. Others propose significant changes to the process of antitrust enforcement, such as changing burdens of proof, flipping evidentiary presumptions, or having the FTC write competition rules — and demand deference for those rules in court.
Taken together, we believe such changes could make the digital world less, rather than more, dynamic, slowing beneficial innovations, denying consumers the largely unseen and unknownable benefits of lost innovation, and politicizing antitrust enforcement even more than it already has been at both the federal and state level. Antitrust could once again become a weapon for competitors to use against others — and by which politicians can try to push media companies, both new and old, to reshape political discourse in their favor
Scope of Work: The Techlash didn’t just happen. It reflects a coordinated, sustained effort — and so will an effective response. Our new Senior Fellow will, of course, spend part of their time responding to, and debunking, the arguments that the digital sky is falling and that only radical changes to antitrust law can save us. But even more important is building the intellectual foundation needed for us to defend well-developed antitrust principles that are now under fierce attack from the growing “hipster antitrust” movement — and to answer the legitimately hard questions raised by critics of the status quo.
We expect our new colleague to help us shape a proactive agenda of scholarship. We’re particularly interested in these themes:
- Perverse effects on startups, innovation, and the overall dynamism of the tech sector
- Improving, and de-politicizing, the investigation and enforcement process
- Calls for the FTC to issue competition rules
- How privacy and competition policy intersect
- The weaponization of antitrust law by firms to use against their rivals, and politicians to use against their enemies
- How the First Amendment and Section 230 constrain antitrust law
Our recent comments on the DOJ and FTC’s proposed vertical merger guidelines will illustrate some of our approach.
Requirements: We’re looking for a smart lawyer who is seeking to become a leading public intellectual in the debate over the future of competition policy. Here’s what we think that looks like:
- Above all, we seek a lawyer with demonstrated ability to master new areas of law and policy quickly. More specifically, we expect:
- A minimum of three years of antitrust practice
- Hands-on experience with antitrust litigation (preferred by not required)
- Active (or easily reactivated) bar membership
- Working familiarity with:
- Administrative law and procedure
- Constitutional law
- Regulatory policy in general
- Law & economics
- Special consideration will be given to (former) judicial clerks and those who have experience at the FTC, DOJ Antitrust Division or a state attorney general’s office handling antitrust cases.
- Exceptional public speaking ability will be a key part of this role, including panels, podcasts, media appearances, and testimony before legislative committees and regulatory agencies. This expert must be able to debate likable, polished media darlings whose narrative has far more intuitive appeal — and win.
- Excellent writing skills will be indispensable for this position. We need someone able to produce a variety of work products, with limited external editing, aimed at a spectrum of audiences, from regulatory comments, amicus briefs, and white papers to op-eds and effective tweeting.
- A willingness to participate in development efforts, including prospecting donors, donor pitch development and delivery, and relationship management.
How to Apply: Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:
- One-page resume: You are welcome to also include a CV with publications, etc. if you think that will be informative.
- Cover letter: Again, we aren’t looking for anything long, just something to give us a sense of who you are and why you think TechFreedom is a good fit for you.
- Writing sample: Links to published material is fine, but anything that you think demonstrates your ability to succinctly communicate about complicated ideas is really what we are after here.
- Your social media handles: We’d like to get to know your online persona.
- Other relevant experience: Tell us whatever else in your background you think would be relevant for this role.
We plan to accept applications until this position is filled. On a rolling basis, we will be in touch with candidates who we believe are a good fit and will set up a short interview to vet candidates further.
Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link: https://talentmarket.org/candidates/apply-for-your-dream-job/
Questions can be directed to Katelynn Barbosa, Talent Engagement Manager at Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.