Introduction (from Michael Castle Miller)

I am a legal and policy consultant based in Los Angeles who helps establish special-status jurisdictions and implement legal and policy reforms internationally. I also lead a non-profit, Refugee Cities, that promotes the use of special development zones as spaces where migrants can be integrated into the economies and societies of the major refugee-hosting countries.

I am building up a new for-profit organization and am seeking a legal and policy expert to work with me on a growing workload for clients. Your work would involve varied, complex, and heady subjects that will likely have a major impact on the shape of the world in the coming decades. If you are someone who loves coming up with creative approaches to intellectual legal and policy questions, is efficient and output-oriented, and want to have a meaningful influence on the world, this should be the perfect job for you.

We’re in the process of building the website, so in the meantime, feel free to browse my LinkedIn profile, or the Refugee Cities site to learn more. Provided below is some more information about the consulting firm and the position being offered.

Looking forward to reviewing your application!

Position Title:

Legal and Policy Associate, Politas Consulting

Description of Firm:

Politas Consulting is a new international development social enterprise whose mission is to provide legal and policy assistance to help cities and special-status jurisdictions achieve inclusive social and economic growth. Cities and special jurisdictions are increasingly the world’s driving innovators and incubators of good policy. We help them orient the future of governance toward prosperity and inclusion.

More specifically, Politas assists with the development and implementation of laws, policies, and administrative frameworks for special economic zones, free trade zones, cities, and semi-autonomous jurisdictions. It also advises on national or regional decentralization strategies and strategies for addressing national or international issues through urban areas and special zones. It currently has projects in Latin America, Northern Africa, and South Asia for clients in the United States and Europe.

Politas also closely collaborates with Refugee Cities, a non-profit organization that uses special development zones to help integrate migrants in countries hosting refugees. Refugee Cities promotes the use of such zones, some of which Politas is helping implement.

Position Description:


The Legal and Policy Associate will work under the Executive Director on a range of projects for clients. Work will primarily be local/desk work, especially in the short term, but may involve field work over time. Initial responsibilities will include:

  • Drafting regulations covering a wide variety of topics, such as customs/trade, immigration, environment, and security.
  • Researching laws or administrative frameworks covering the above topics at the international level or in foreign countries.
  • Analyzing and advising on proposed policies, laws, and regulations.
  • Helping develop international investment protections for foreign investors in developing and post-conflict countries.
  • Helping develop proposals and concept papers for special-status jurisdictions and new policies.

Some work would be done through Refugee Cities, primarily on the development of proposals for the use of new special zones.

Nature of Work and Compensation

In the near term, the Legal and Policy Associate will be an independent contractor and will be paid on a billed hourly basis at $60/hour. There should be approximately 25-30 billed hours per week.



Candidates must have:

  • High ethical standards with the ability to maintain clients’ confidentiality.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills. English writing ability should be at least a native-level. Style must be natural, clear, and direct.
  • Juris Doctor (JD) from a U.S. law school, or LL.M from a U.S. Law School and/or foreign equivalent to a JD from a well-regarded foreign law school.

Additional Factors:

Candidates will be evaluated based on the following characteristics. No candidate is expected to have all of these characteristics. Yet all applicants should have some. Please reference the characteristics you have in your cover letter and describe how you have them:

  • Experience drafting legislation or regulations for foreign or domestic jurisdictions
  • Experience evaluating policies or legislation and drafting written analyses and recommendations
  • Experience clerking for a judge at the appellate level
  • Strong knowledge of international investment law and policy (e.g., bilateral / multilateral investment treaty protection, investment arbitration)
  • Experience working in (or strong knowledge of) free trade zone / special economic zone law, policy, and economics
  • Experience drafting contracts and agreements, especially investor-state agreements or memoranda of understanding
  • Strong knowledge of urban planning and management and economic development policy
  • Live in Los Angeles, CA and work from a physical office there
  • If not in LA, live in a time zone that is +/- 3 hours from U.S. Pacific Time
  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Women and/or minorities that are underrepresented in U.S. legal or policy professions

Application Instructions:

Email the following to Michael Castle-Miller at

  • Cover letter describing the characteristics you have from the above lists, and any other information you think is relevant
  • Resume or CV

Writing sample and interviews may be requested from some applicants.