Skip to main content


Current Job Openings: 

Communications Associate

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) seeks a creative, enthusiastic, and driven communications professional to add to its communications staff.

About the ABF

Located in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the American Bar Foundation is a nonprofit, independent international research institute committed to empirical, interdisciplinary research on law, legal institutions, and legal processes.  The ABF offers a rich intellectual community of scholars with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, and staff have ample opportunities to interact with scholars and attend research presentations, such as a weekly Wednesday seminar series.  We offer a comprehensive benefits package to eligible employees that includes generous paid time off, health insurance, and retirement.

About this position

The Communications Associate is responsible for assisting in the creation and dissemination of content to news media, funders, the academy, and other stakeholders.  This professional will have a direct impact on the elevation of the American Bar Foundation’s brand visibility to its stakeholders and to the general public.  The Communications Associate reports to the Communications Manager and can expect to take direction from senior management and the Executive Director.  This person works cooperatively with members of the communications, development and academic affairs staff, and works closely with the Communications Manager in sharing of related duties.  The Communications Associate will also assume primary responsibility for two key areas: co-writing and editing the ABF newsletter, Researching Law, and serving a publicist function.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Serve publicist function by cultivating members of the legal and mainstream news media to regularly report on ABF research findings
  • Co-write and co-edit Researching Law, ABF’s newsletter 
  • Assist in drafting, editing and reviewing the ABF Annual Report
  • Assist faculty with preparation and submission of Op-eds as requested
  • Draft press releases disseminating ABF research findings and news of institutional events
  • Build and maintain press lists and communications files
  • Serve as co- content manager of the ABF website:
  • Manage main ABF social media
  • Create e-newsletter and project-specific e-blasts
  • Create “one-pager” digests of ABF signature research projects to assist ABF leadership in communicating the institution’s value to stakeholders and potential stakeholders
  • Work with Communications and Development team members to provide input on all written institutional materials in both print and digital formats
  • Track analytics on impact of ABF media penetration and website traffic
  • Assist in planning and managing special events to highlight ABF research, book launches, conferences, etc.
  • Assist in creation of video content
  • Assist in webinar creation and dissemination
  • Communications-related duties as assigned

Required Education, Skills, and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in Journalism or Communications
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in AP-style writing
  • Demonstrated ability to craft cogent and effective press releases
  • Strong editing and proofreading skills
  • Ability to master and translate complex research projects and programs to lay audiences
  • Ability to quickly comprehend a wide range of issues at the intersection of law and society
  • Experience writing for multiple channels
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and to meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of communications information sources
  • Strong contributor in team environments and able to collaborate successfully with faculty and staff
  • Entrepreneurial nature; intellectually curious and creative thinker
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite: Word, PowerPoint, Excel
  • Must be reliable and punctual and understand standard operating office procedures

Preferred Competencies

  • Basic graphic design experience
  • Proficiency with mass marketing/communications utilities: Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc.
  • Experience using Google Analytics

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional office environment.  This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.

Physical Demands

This is largely a sedentary role; however, some filing is required.  This would require the ability to lift files, open cabinets, and bend or stand as necessary.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time exempt position.  Generally, days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a 1-hour lunch period.  Occasional work outside of these hours is expected in connection with Foundation events, such as participation in Board meetings.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. 

EEO Statement

The ABF is firmly committed to providing equal employment opportunities. All decisions regarding the terms, privileges, and/or conditions of employment, including but not limited to hiring, classification, grading, recruitment, discharge, discipline, compensation, selection for training or apprenticeship, promotion, renewal of employment, tenure or terms, and benefits, will be made without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, order of protection status, marital status, disability, military status, unfavorable discharge from the military, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, housing status, parental status, source of income, certain arrest or criminal history records, genetic information, protected activity (such as opposition to or reporting of prohibited discrimination or harassment), or any other status or classification protected by applicable federal, state, and/or local laws. The ABF prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment of individuals on any of the bases listed above and any other basis protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law.

To receive consideration, please send a cover letter, résumé, and writing sample (10 pages max.) to as follows:

Email subject line: Communications Associate  

American Bar Foundation

750 North Lake Shore Drive 4th floor

Chicago, IL 60611

No phone calls, please.

Site design by Webitects

© 2019 American Bar Foundation (
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Media Contacts
Privacy policy
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.