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Assistant Director of Communications

Stanford, California
5 Sep 2022

Assistant Director of Communications, Office of Communications & PR, Stanford Law School

Grade H - Writer 2

One-year Fixed Term Position

This position plays a key role in the highly dynamic Communications and Public Relations department. Our department's work involves creative representation of law school activities, scholarship and thought leadership in order to reach the goals of achieving and sustaining a positive image in the minds of law school constituents and the community at large.

The primary responsibility for this role is content creation for the department and it reports to the Associate Dean for Communications and Public Relations. Under day-to-day direction from the Director of Media Relations and the Director of Publications, this person will split their time between media and publications, conducting media relations activities, providing issues management and research support, and writing materials that showcase SLS news, strengths, activities, brand, scholarship, intellectual capital, and leadership for SLS institutional channels. Entrusted with confidential and sensitive material, must exercise good judgment. Mix of job responsibilities is 60 percent media team and 40 percent publications.


  • Develop and research ideas for written publication/communication on topics of moderate complexity.
  • Consult with team to understand the need and purpose of a project.
  • Compose written material for diverse audiences across a variety of channels.
  • Manage production of own publications/communications and adhere to deadlines.
  • Manage production of own stories, and adhere to deadlines.
  • Develop, compile and edit supplemental materials that support written communication (i.e., backgrounders, biographies, executive talking points, and other related materials).
  • Establish and maintain contacts with key sources to identify SLS stories and newsworthy events to promote and disseminate information.
  • Maintain department style standards.

Writing and editing: Work with the Director of Media Relations and the Director of Publications on a variety of writing and editing assignments as key content generator for the department.

  • Write institutional news stories and press releases on SLS activities and other items of interest for distribution to the national/local media and other external audiences.
  • Write news and feature stories about SLS activities for the Stanford Lawyer and other publications/materials
  • Write content for high-level pages on the SLS website, when needed.
  • Write institutional news stories and press releases on SLS activities and other items of interest for distribution to the national/local media and other external audiences.
  • Writing assignments will also include institutional news announcements, press advisories, press releases, faculty bios, media pitches, profiles of faculty scholarship, FAQs, Q&As, backgrounders, talking points, standby statements, magazine stories, etc.
  • Fact-checking and proofreading

Research Support

Work with the Director of Media Relations and the Associate Dean for Communications and Public Relations on media research projects: preparing media materials.

  • Assist with preparing media materials/backgrounding for faculty/leadership interviews, including outlet/reporter research, topic and competitor research, etc.
  • Assist with ongoing media research and monitoring to support issues management.
  • Conduct ongoing research/media tracking of T14 competitors under the guidance of Director of Media Relations
  • Assist with research for the Stanford Lawyer magazine, Legal Aggregate Q&As on timely topics and other publications.
  • Become super-user of media tools including Cision and Factiva.


Bachelor's degree and five years of related experience, or a combination of education and relevant experience. Experience on a Communications team within a corporation, in higher education, or at a public relations agency, or comparable work experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Proven success in writing for publication in print, web, and other platforms.
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal, and oral communication skills with proven ability to present, write, edit, and organize thoughts in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner.
  • Ability to understand materials of moderate complexity and synthesize across multiple sources to produce materials for diverse audiences.
  • Ability to change voice and writing style to fit a particular audience and purpose.
  • Firm understanding of web technologies and applications, including social networking, social media tools, and current communication trends.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and able to interact effectively with a diverse array of people, including senior leaders.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple deadlines.
  • Excellent time management skills.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Ability to produce content quickly; a journalism background is preferred; ability to provide quick turn-around on copy and complete a high volume of writing assignments in short timeframes.
  • Experience with institutional communications and media relations
  • Ability to ascertain what is newsworthy and interesting and to effectively pitch stories to the media. Knowledge of journalism, reporting and public relations.
  • Ability to understand and translate complex legal concepts.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, dead-line driven, team-oriented office.
  • Technical competence with databases required. Experience with new media required.
  • Must be an energetic individual with a strong work ethic who can take initiative.
  • Ability to interface with diverse constituencies, i.e., faculty, general public, students, staff, media and alumni and those at all levels.
  • Must be able to work with a high level of independence, seeking consultation and consensus where appropriate.
  • Must have a sophisticated and balanced approach to challenging situations.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

Working Conditions:

This is a full-time hybrid position, working a schedule with a combination of remote and on-site presence at Stanford Law School. Some on-site work is required each week.

Why Stanford is for You

Stanford's dedicated 16,000 staff come from diverse educational and career backgrounds. We are a collaborative environment that thrives on innovation and continuous improvement. At Stanford, we seek talent committed to excellence, driven to impact the future of our legacy, and improve lives on a global sphere. We provide competitive salaries, excellent health care and retirement plans, and a generous vacation policy, including additional time off during our winter closure. Our generousperks align with what matters to you:

  • Freedom to grow. Take advantage of career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or leader discuss global issues.
  • A caring culture. We understand the importance of your personal and family time and provide you access to wellness programs, child-care resources, parent education and consultation, elder care and caregiving support.
  • A healthier you. We make wellness a priority by providing access to world-class exercise facilities. Climb our rock wall, or participate in one of hundreds of health or fitness classes.
  • Discovery and fun. Visit campus gardens, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. We offer free commuter programs and ridesharing incentives. Enjoy discounts for computers, cell phones, recreation, travel, entertainment, and more!

We pride ourselves in being a culture that encourages and empowers you.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer.

Stanford Law School seeks to hire the best talent and to promote a safe and secure environment for all members of the university community and its property. To that end, new staff hires must successfully pass a background check prior to starting work at Stanford University.

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  • Job Reference: 704417071-2
  • Date Posted: 5 September 2022
  • Recruiter: Stanford Law School
  • Location: Stanford, California
  • Salary: On Application