General Counsel

The Pelican Institute for Public Policy/Pelican Center for Justice

New Orleans or Virtual Office in Louisiana

If you are a freedom-loving lawyer looking for an opportunity to make a highly-leveraged impact on freedom in Louisiana and across the country, this is the position for you. You’ll join a high-powered, talented team, and, given existing work and a broad range of future possibilities, have the chance to make an immediate impact in a high-profile senior role at the Pelican Institute.

About The Pelican Institute for Public Policy

The Pelican Institute is a nonpartisan research and educational organization – a think tank – and the leading voice for free markets in Louisiana. The Institute’s mission is to conduct research and analysis that advances sound policies based on free enterprise, individual liberty, and constitutionally-limited government. What that means is our work is aimed at reducing barriers to human flourishing and advancing policies that will bring jobs and opportunity back to Louisiana through research, advocacy, marketing, persuasion, and, now, strategic litigation. Our newly-launched Pelican Center for Justice public interest law firm is taking its fight for freedom and liberty to the courts.

Louisiana faces some of the steepest challenges in the nation; however, these challenges bring with them great opportunities to make a powerful difference for freedom. Whether litigating for free speech, workplace freedom, property rights, or economic liberty, the Pelican Center for Justice is poised to challenge a powerful status quo in order to expand freedom and opportunity in Louisiana, through the Fifth Circuit, and across the nation.

Please visit to learn more about our work and mission.

Position Description

The Pelican Institute is seeking an experienced, ambitious, creative, and proactive litigator to serve as General Counsel to lead the Pelican Center for Justice and expand its litigation efforts.

The General Counsel will report directly to the CEO and work closely with the entire Pelican Institute team and Board of Directors to coordinate the litigation component of Pelican’s aggressive strategy. The General Counsel will continue the build out of the Center for Justice, including hiring of additional litigators and staff, and serve as lead litigator on Pelican’s cases.

The duties for the position include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee the research, development, and execution of an overarching litigation strategy to advance freedom in Louisiana and the region
  • Identify, evaluate, and engage potential plaintiffs for strategic litigation in service of Pelican Institute’s mission
  • Represent litigants in trial and appellate courts, both state and federal, including drafting complaints and motions, conducting depositions, examinations, and arguments in court
  • Coordinate with allied attorney organizations on case partnerships and opportunities
  • Cultivate a vibrant center-right legal community in Louisiana
  • Identify opportunities for Pelican’s participation asamicus curiae in constitutional litigation that furthers Pelican’s mission
  • Oversee the research, writing, and filing of amicus curiaebriefs on Pelican’s behalf
  • Coordinate additional representation with private sector volunteer attorneys
  • Ensure compliance with all professional and ethical standards and requirements for staff relevant to engaging new clients and matters
  • Develop and coordinate story telling and media strategy of new litigation and Pelican Institute’s mission in conjunction with communications staff and senior leadership
  • Represent Pelican Institute through public speaking and media appearances at conferences and before media outlets nationwide
  • Author content for Pelican and outside publications
  • Develop strategies and interact with donors and prospective donors to generate additional resources for the Pelican Institute and the Pelican Center for Justice

This position involves the opportunity to travel throughout the state of Louisiana and to nationwide conferences. While the primary office for The Pelican Institute is in New Orleans, we will consider a virtual office elsewhere in Louisiana for the right candidate. The expected start date for this position is flexible but within the next 60 days.


A successful candidate must demonstrate a tremendous ability to both lead and litigate for this exciting new venture to advance liberty in Louisiana. This candidate should possess a knowledge and passion for Pelican Institute’s mission and an ability to articulate that passion in a way that will call others to the cause. A candidate must also be able to demonstrate:

  • Extensive experience with strategic civil liberties or civil rights litigation (1983 claims); 5+ years of litigation experience is strongly preferred with expertise in constitutional law and civil litigation procedures
  • Willingness to be creative and explore legal opportunities to advance free-market principles and a broad reform agenda
  • Exceptional legal research, writing, and oral advocacy abilities
  • Ability to work productively with outside lawyers, clients, and potential clients
  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Ability to work in a team structure with Pelican Institute senior leadership, outside volunteer attorneys, clients, and news media personalities
  • An ability to forge consensus and work productively across disciplines and viewpoints

Candidates must be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school and a member of the bar of at least one state. If not already a member of the Louisiana bar, candidates must be willing to obtain licensure in Louisiana within 1 year of hiring.

Salary and Compensation

Starting salary is competitive and depends upon experience and education level. The Pelican Institute also offers a benefits package that includes employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance and a flexible paid time-off plan.


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

  • Cover letter detailing your strategic civil liberties/civil rights litigation experience, interest in Pelican’s mission, and salary requirements
  • Resume
  • Writing sample
  • A list of at least three professional references

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:

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.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.