NewsFebruary 20, 2020

Become Our Newest Staff Attorney (Applications Closed)

Post type: 

Farm Commons is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers farmers to create solutions to their business law needs, within a community of support. We do this by fostering education, leadership development, and community-based problem solving. We work as a small but mighty team of remote staff who wake up each day ready to empower sustainable farmers nationwide to build resiliency through the law.


About the Position

We are welcoming a new full time team member to join our close-knit group. The Staff Attorney for Special Projects position offers individuals a powerful opportunity to remake farm business law as a force by and for our nation’s farmers, with a focus on the most innovative and direct to consumer operations. To build that future, we need a skilled lawyer with the ability to both research and translate complex material into straightforward action steps for farmers around the country. All members of our small team must be excellent educators, with the ability to listen deeply and spot solutions in unlikely places.


Position Description:

If successful, the Staff Attorney will achieve the following:

  1. Research and write approachable, plain language educational content for farmers on a wide variety of agricultural law issues including tort liability, food safety regulations, and employment law.
  2. Develop educational programming (i.e. workshops and webinars) that directly reduces legal risk on farms, by empowering farmers to understand and address legal issues in a practical, cost-effective manner.
  3. Conduct community research programs that result in identification of opportunities to resolve persistent barriers to farm business resilience, while developing effective partnerships able to carry out the resolution into the future.
  4. Contribute to the development of participatory legal education and research as a concept by developing and implementing nontraditional programs for gathering and analyzing legal information and knowledge with community and business stakeholders.

In order to achieve the above results, the Staff Attorney will do the following:

  1. Perform accurate, concise legal analysis across a variety of disparate subjects related to agricultural law.
  2. Maintain accurate, thorough documentation of legal research.
  3. Work within a team to analyze the law and craft practical, action-oriented conclusions for educational content. Develop supporting materials to enable farmers to take those action steps.
  4. Engage in extensive community outreach to recruit and lead participants, partners, and stakeholders for collaborative research projects.
  5. Plan and conduct focus groups and other feedback activities; conduct market-based research including client and partner interviews to better understand the community’s intersection with legal issues.
  6. Work with the Executive Director to design project deliverables including white papers, guides, and strategy documents; write resulting resources and coordinate with the Staff Attorney for Core Resilience as necessary to complete writing; coordinate with Farmer and Partner Development Manager to achieve outreach on deliverables.
  7. Align our work within the broader scholarship on community based and participatory legal research as a whole; align our work within the legal education market as a whole.
  8. Assist in the design and implementation of projects under the direction of the Executive and Associate Directors; document and facilitate program progress in the organization’s project management system.



Qualified candidates will possess the following:

  1. A JD degree or admission to practice law in any state in the United States.
  2. Proficiency in legal research, analysis, and writing, including the ability to write clear, straightforward text for non-attorney audiences about legal subjects.
  3. Detailed experience in community-based research including surveys, focus groups, interviews and other methods of receiving input from communities, in the context of business/market research, community organizing/advocacy, or member services.
  4. Educational background or experience in agriculture, farming, and food systems.
  5. Proven ability to take initiative in developing programs that are goal-focused, results-oriented, and replicable with limited oversight.
  6. Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to clearly and confidently deliver persuasive content and conduct workshop-style instruction.



This is a full time position salaried at $56,000 annually. Benefits also provided.

Successful candidates may be from any location in the lower 48 states, but a preference will apply to Midwest-based candidates.

Occasional travel will be required, including stays of 2 nights or more at locations around the country.


How to Apply:

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter and resume to Rachel Armstrong, Applications will be taken until March 6, 2020 or until the position is filled. Cover letters must detail whether and how the applicant meets the 6 qualifications stated. Letters should not exceed 5 pages in length. Please submit both the letter and the resume together as a single pdf document. Please write Staff Attorney into the subject line of your email submission. Confirmation of receipt will be sent within 3 days, but not after the deadline.


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