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Economics Fellow, Justice Program (Consultant)

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protections in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

The Brennan Center’s Justice Program seeks to improve our criminal justice system, with a focus on ending mass incarceration while keeping the country safe. The program blends law, policy, and economics to produce new empirical analyses and innovative policy solutions to advance this goal.


The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is seeking an Economist to work as a consultant with the Justice Program. The start date for this consultancy is approximately July 2017.

The Brennan Center prides itself on using data-driven, evenhanded, and interdisciplinary research to inform its legal and policy recommendations to reform the justice system. The Economist will develop and test statistical and economic models used in the program’s quantitative reports for specific projects, in collaboration with program staff. Projects may include charting crime trends and their underlying social and economic causes, exploring the hidden costs of mass incarceration on the economy, or using data analysis to ground innovative policy solutions.

The Economist will work collaboratively on these studies with full-time staff, including: attorneys, who supervise projects and draft written products; researchers, who perform the underlying quantitative analysis under the Economist’s strategic direction; and communications professionals, who assist with editing final work product.

This consultancy will be on a contractual basis involving approximately 10 to 20 hours of work per week, and can be conducted remotely.


  • Conducting original research for reports, including performing economic, empirical, and cost-benefit analysis; gathering hard-to-find data; and proposing creative solutions to methodological challenges.
  • Provide strategic direction to researchers on collecting hard-to-find data, fact-checking empirical work, and methodologies for research.
  • Draft sections of research reports, in collaboration with policy staff.
  • Attend periodic telephonic meetings with Center senior leadership and the Brennan Center’s Economic Advisory Board to discuss report methodologies and other project aspects. Option to speak to media, at conferences, and to government officials about report findings.


  • Ph.D. in economics. Additional degree in law, public policy, or political science is a plus.
  • At least 3 years’ job experience applying economics to public policy is preferred.
  • Expertise in econometrics and experience engaging in primary and secondary research, interpreting data, and performing original empirical analyses.
  • Ability to write clearly for a lay audience, and work collaboratively with interdisciplinary team of lawyers, researchers, communications staff, and senior management.
  • Ability to comprehend and evaluate criminal justice work.


Commensurate with experience. The Economist will be compensated as an independent contractor at a competitive rate to be set by contract.


The application deadline is June 1, 2017, but applicants will be selected for interviews on a rolling basis. To apply, visit Please upload (where it says “attach resume”) as one document the following application materials: cover letter, CV, an original research paper, and three reference letters.

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Justice Economist” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

The Brennan Center, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, and applicants who have been previously incarcerated.

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