Counsel/Senior Counsel, Voting Rights Program and Bernard and Anne Spitzer Fellow
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Brennan Center’s work ranges from voting rights to census protection, from ending mass incarceration to preserving constitutional protections in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part legal advocacy group, and part communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them—in the courts, in Congress and the states, and the court of public opinion.
The Brennan Center’s Voting Rights Program seeks a talented attorney to join our team working to build a robust, participatory, and inclusive democracy for a Fellowship generously supported by the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. The attorney’s focus will be to combat voter suppression and advance pro-voter reforms at the state and federal levels. This is a full-time, regular position, and not a term-limited.
Our Voting Rights Program advocates for free, fair, and accessible elections, with special focus on the ways systemic barriers impede electoral participation by communities of color. The past ten years have seen a renewed brazen and widespread assault on the right to vote. Elected officials at the highest levels have deployed disinformation and misinformation to scapegoat communities trying to assert their rightful place in the electorate. And the Capitol attack made plain that some are even prepared to reject the use of elections as the arena to contest political differences. We meet these challenges, and others, head on. We do so with partners ranging from community-based organizations to election administrators to pro bono counsel.
The Brennan Center’s methods include legal and empirical research and writing, litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, media and communications, and public education. This position will be in person and based at our headquarters in New York City and will require some travel.
Note: This is a hybrid position. Staff are currently working from home 2 days a week. This position is based in New York City. It will require occasional travel as well.
- Conduct legal and factual research and public writing in support of policy advocacy, legislative reform, and communications initiatives.
- Help to advance policy reforms, often in collaboration with coalition partners.
- Participate in impact litigation, including research, brief writing, and strategy development, with team members, allied organizations, and/or pro bono law firm counsel.
- Write and speak for a general, non-legal audience, including speaking with news media, occasional opinion pieces, and public appearances.
- Contribute to team administration, including recruitment and hiring, and work with communications and development professionals.
- Supervise and mentor attorneys, legal interns, and/or program associates.
The Fellowship is designed to create opportunities for experienced attorneys – mid-level or senior – seeking to shift from governmental, legislative, law firm, or corporate practice to a public interest career. The Fellowship is also open to public interest attorneys in other fields who wish to change focus to the Brennan Center’s issue areas. Those with an interest in pursuing an academic teaching career after the fellowship are also encouraged to apply.
Required. The position requires a J.D. and admission to the New York State Bar (or admission within one year of being hired).
Ideal. The ideal candidate will have some combination of the following experiences and qualifications. We recognize that many excellent candidates may not have all these experiences and qualifications and we will provide support for the successful candidate to acquire additional skills.
- A minimum of four years’ legal work experience, including any clerkships.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Excellent legal research and analysis skills.
- Experience anticipating and handling the day-to-day needs of litigation or advocacy campaigns.
- Strong ability and desire to write for legal, policy, and public audiences.
- Strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize effectively in a fast-paced environment.
- Familiarity with administrative law, civil rights law, and/or federal civil litigation.
- Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to work with diverse constituencies both inside and outside the organization.
- A commitment to racial equity.
- Experience working with civil rights, immigrant rights, or good government organizations, or community-based groups in a legal or non-legal capacity.
- Comfort working with social science research and experts.
The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true-self and feel a strong sense of belonging. As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, we expect employees to participate/contribute with DEI initiatives or activities with recruitment, retention, and workplace culture.
Position Start Date: Spring 2022
Salary: The salary is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience, set according to a published scale for Counsel and Senior Counsel. Senior Counsel appointments will be determined based on level of experience. A generous benefits package is provided as well.
Applications: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with the position to be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. To apply, please visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/3JE0r0fBlZ/CounselSenior-Counsel-Voting-Rights-Program-And-Bernard-And-Anne-Spitzer-Fellow and upload (in pdf) the following application materials: cover letter; resume; two writing samples (up to 10 pages each); and contact information for three references. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with "Voting Rights Counsel" in the subject line, after registering in the online system. Applying through our system is STRONGLY preferred.
Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors. As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including having a booster, or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption.
The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center
- Welcomes and hires applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
- Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
- Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and
- Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.