We're Hiring!

POSITION Legal Associate, Intellectual Property
ORGANIZATION Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK)
LOCATION Remote in the U.S. Strong preference for NYC or Washington, DC areas
COMPENSATION $175K annual salary + benefits
START DATE ASAP; Accepting applications on a rolling basis until filled

 

“A power imbalance exists because those most affected are least represented in how policy is made. This drives the structural inequities we are seeing today, costing millions of lives worldwide. This has to change.”
Tahir Amin, Co-Founder & CEO, I-MAK

ABOUT I-MAK

Building a More Just and Equitable Medicine System for All

The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) is a team of attorneys, scientists, and health experts building a more just and equitable medicines system for all. We work in the public’s interest to address structural inequities in how medicines are developed and distributed, and we envision a world in which people are able to get lifesaving medicines without excessive individual or social cost. 

I-MAK is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-governmental organization based in the United States and working globally.

OUR STORY

I-MAK was founded in 2006 by two lawyers with expertise in intellectual property law and health justice, Tahir Amin and Priti Krishtel, to focus on how to build a more equitable and just system for medicines. The organization grew out of their successful activism to ensure that patent monopolies did not stand in the way of generic HIV/AIDS drugs saving lives worldwide. 

As veterans of the global access to medicines movement for nearly 20 years, we have come to understand that re-imagining the outdated  patent system in the United States is a critical component of any strategy to improve health outcomes, both nationally and globally. With this at the center, we have created a framework at I-MAK that integrates deep analytical research, stakeholder informed collaboration, and a voice in the media to activate change through education. At I-MAK, we believe: 

  • Structural inequities are found at every level of an outdated medicines system and lead to millions of people worldwide who are suffering or losing their lives. 
  • The current design of the medicines system prioritizes private interests over public good. 
  • People who are most affected should be at the table shaping solutions.

Currently, we face a global health crisis that impacts us all; there are over 2 billion people around the world without access to medicine and only one in four people in the United States can afford to take their medicines as prescribed.

Now more than ever, we are at a catalytic moment to advance solutions for actionable change. Central to our work as an organization is combining practical application of the law with evidence-based analysis: it guides every other aspect of our work, including the policy solutions we develop, technical support we give policymakers and stakeholders, and communications to drive a narrative for rethinking the patent system. We are adding capacity to our organization to meet these needs and are looking for a dynamic legal professional looking to change the power structures that maintain the status quo. Join us!

POSITION OVERVIEW

A new role in the organization, this position will be an integral part of advancing the practice and policy side of our work.  Our ideal candidate is a mission-driven legal practitioner who thrives in a fast paced environment managing multiple work streams. We are looking for someone to work collaboratively with our programs team and other colleagues as a real thought partner, shaping our capacity to inform the design of policy solutions to create equity in the medicines system.

Reporting directly to Tahir Amin, CEO, and working in close collaboration with the communications and technical teams, this role will be integral to enhancing I-MAK’s ability to successfully navigate the intellectual property landscape, in particular patents, both in terms of legal program implementation and legal strategy development. This position offers an opportunity to lead and grow during a pivotal time for the organization and for the movement for health equity. 

THE ROLE

The Legal Associate will: 

  • Monitor developments to inform programmatic work in the following areas: U.S. drug pricing and patent policy developments (Congressional, administrative, agency), U.S. and global intellectual property (IP) trends, regulatory and antitrust laws that impact drug pricing, global institutions that impact IP laws (WTO and other trade related aspects), U.S. institutions/bodies that are important to how IP policy is shaped (International Trade Commission, FTC, FDA, etc). 
  • Oversee and conduct substantial legal research and research projects, including drafting research briefs and memos on a variety of patent, legal, and economic policy issues and contributing to the preparation of broader written work products, donor proposals, and impact reports.
  • Support I-MAK’s technical work of patent landscapes, validity assessments, and related efforts, including:  
    • Conducting patent searches and reviewing patent landscape analyses (read, review, and code patents) for I-MAK’s original research. 
    • Reviewing patent challenges filed and litigation conducted by various stakeholders including generic companies in different jurisdictions (including the European Patent Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). 
    • Preparing memorandums summarizing and analyzing matters relating to patents and public health in the U.S., including reviewing any questions from I-MAK related to strategy, law, procedure, and prior art identified by partners. 
  • Conduct ongoing research to ensure the team has a clear understanding of the U.S. and global policy environment in order to refine, adapt, and evolve policy recommendations, create appropriate tools, and document findings.
  • Review potential new bills and legislation to advise stakeholders and policymakers. 
  • Serve as the first point of contact to answer questions, fact check, and review legal content in documents such as social media posts, newsletters, research briefs/reports, funder proposals and reports, press inquiries, legislative and regulatory inquiries, etc.  
  • Review public responses to I-MAK’s reports, data, and policy recommendations, including: 
    • Gathering the arguments that have been made against I-MAK’s reports, data, and policy recommendations. 
    • Reviewing submissions to FDA, PTO listening/commenting sessions that have cited or critiqued our data.
    • Reviewing IP blogs that have mentioned our data either in a positive or negative light.

WHO YOU ARE

  • You believe that the current IP structures need to be re-imagined.  
  • You have a J.D., admission before a state bar, pharmaceutical patent law experience (ideally domestic and international), and 3+ years of industry or law firm experience. 
  • You have a strong understanding of science, ideally both biologics and organic chemistry.
  • You have the ability to conduct patent searches, prior art searches, and to read, analyze, and interpret patent documents and legal arguments.
  • You bring knowledge and acumen around all facets of intellectual property (IP)  law, in particular drug patents, and the surrounding economic philosophy,  access to medicines, regulatory systems, as well as the medicine system’s challenges and pressures. You can connect concepts across disciplines (legal, economics, public health, etc.). 
  • You understand and thrive at navigating the complex landscape of IP law and policy that shapes the pharmaceutical industry and the related political economy – a variety of agencies and policies that impact the accessibility of medicines. 
  • You are a systems thinker, with either lived or professional experience that has helped you develop an interest in how the intersections between U.S. policy, capitalism, colonialism, and racism negatively impact health outcomes for the global majority, locally and around the world.
  • You have excellent written and verbal communication skills: the ability to write technically as well as translate technical content to non-technical audiences. 
  • You are an excellent project manager who takes initiative in driving deliverables and can deftly juggle priorities.
  • You enjoy a balance of working independently and being a valued collaborator on a tight-knit, highly-collegial team that honors authenticity and exercises genuine caring for the wellbeing of ourselves as individuals, for our team as a whole, and for our broader communities. 

All I-MAK employees are required to show evidence that they are fully up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. I-MAK will consider requests for reasonable accommodations, as required by law. 

COMPENSATION 

The annual salary for this position is $175K. Benefits include:

  • 100% employee coverage for our “gold-tier” health plan, dental plan, and vision plan.
  • Monthly technology and office supply stipend of $75/month and computer reimbursement up to $2,000 every three years.
  • Ability to participate in I-MAK’s retirement program and an employer match of 2%.

Given the diverse and inclusive nature of I‐MAK’s global team and work, employees are given PTO to tailor to their personal needs, beliefs and/or priorities, which may or may not align with U.S. federal holidays. I-MAK provides its employees with 17 days of vacation and 6 sick days per year. Additionally, I-MAK annually closes its office for two weeks per year: the last week of December and the first week of July.

Hours and Location

We are a nationally distributed, fully remote team working with staff and consultants in the U.S. and globally across many time zones. This position is U.S.-based with a preference for the NYC area or Washington DC area. We maintain common hours to ensure we can work collaboratively and have clear, shared expectations about when staff members are regularly available for work. I-MAK’s common hours are noon to 5:30pm EST. Staff in the same zone often work together during 9am to 5pm local time. We value our employees as whole people who have personal obligations that may coincide with typical working hours. We give our team the flexibility to manage their work in a way that is best for them as long as they are holding their team commitments. Full-time exempt staff members work 40 hours per week on average or approximately eight hours per day and can expect to work additional hours as required to fulfill the duties of their positions.

HOW TO APPLY 

To apply, please submit a Resume and either a Statement of Interest or a Cover Letter on our online application system

HIRING PROCESS 

We appreciate your time and interest in contributing your talents to I-MAK’s mission. Thank you! You will receive an email auto-reply to your application. We wish we could respond personally to all applicants, but only those chosen to interview will be contacted. Selected applicants will be invited to an initial brief screening interview via Zoom.

 

I-MAK is committed to equal employment opportunity. We will not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally-recognized basis [“protected class”] including, but not limited to: race (including hair texture or hairstyles that are commonly associated with a particular race or national origin (including a hairstyle in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros); color; religion; genetic information; national origin; ancestry; sex; gender; gender identity; gender expression; sexual orientation; pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; marital status; age; disability; citizenship status; genetic information; military, veteran, or uniform service member status; or any other protected class under federal, state, or local law. 

Partner with us now to build
a more just and equitable
medicine system for all.