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Post-Graduate Legal Fellowship Sponsorships - Fall 2018

Post-Graduate Fellowship Sponsorships Starting Fall 2018

New York City or Washington, D.C.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve 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. Brennan Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection 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 is eager to sponsor law students in the class of 2018, and recent law school graduates including judicial law clerks, who are interested in applying for post-graduate public interest fellowships starting in the fall of 2018. These include the Skadden, Equal Justice Works, and Kirkland & Ellis fellowship programs, and law school-specific fellowships. In recent years we have successfully sponsored a number of public interest fellows from a variety of programs.

Fellows will work alongside staff attorneys on the Brennan Center’s public advocacy, research, and litigation initiatives. Activities may include legal and policy analysis and counseling; legislative drafting at federal, state, and local levels; administrative and legislative advocacy; public education and scholarship; and litigation in trial and appellate courts.

The Brennan Center is interested in hearing from candidates who are passionate about the Center's work. Applicants are encouraged to identify the specific programs and projects they are most interested in working on, and specific ideas they have for their fellowship proposal. The Brennan Center is committed to working closely with selected candidates at every stage of the process to develop a compelling fellowship proposal and application. 

Sponsored fellowship applicants should have excellent legal research, writing and analytical skills, and a demonstrated commitment to work in the public interest. Relevant past experience and a particular interest in one or more of the Center’s specific initiatives is a plus.

Application Instructions 
If you are interested in developing a fellowship proposal with the Brennan Center please visit and click on Apply Now (under this job posting) to upload (preferably in pdf) a cover letter that describes the specific Brennan Center program area (or project idea) of interest, a resume, a writing sample, your aw school transcripts, and a list of contact details for three references.

Applicants should obtain a primary source of funding. The Brennan Center may supplement funding source based on amount. Full employee benefits are available.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until candidates are selected. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications early, and with enough time to comply with other funding deadlines.

If you have difficulty uploading these items as one document, you may also e-mail them to, with “Fellowship Sponsorships 2018” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

The Center’s Program Areas

Democracy Program

The Brennan Center’s Democracy Program advances and defends core democratic values and includes projects dedicated to expanding the right to vote and improving the administration of our election systems, reducing the corrupting influence of money in politics, maintaining the impartiality of the judiciary, and promoting a fair redistricting process. The program seeks to bring the ideal of representative self-government closer to reality, by eliminating barriers to full and equal political participation and by striving to ensure that public policy and institutions represent and reflect the diverse voices and interests that make for a rich and energetic democracy.

Justice Program

The Brennan Center’s Justice Program seeks to secure our nation’s promise of “equal justice for all” by creating a rational, effective, and fair justice system. Its priority focus is to reduce mass incarceration while keeping down crime. The program melds law, policy, and economics to produce new empirical analyses and innovative policy solutions to advance this critical goal. It also engages in federal and state legislative advocacy, media and communications outreach, and strategic litigation. It uses these multiple tools to: document the true toll of mass incarceration on communities and the country; devise and enact new, innovative legal changes to eliminate over-criminalization, over-punishment, racially biased enforcement, and the perverse financial incentives that fuel mass incarceration; and change public opinion to favor reform.

Liberty and National Security Program

The Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security (LNS) Program fights to preserve constitutional values in the post-9/11 world. Our work centers on innovative policy recommendations, litigation, and public advocacy to ensure that our nation’s commitment to national security comports with the rule of law and our fundamental freedoms. We are currently focused on protecting privacy rights in the digital age (e.g., legal challenges to various forms of warrantless electronic surveillance), on racial and religious profiling by law enforcement agencies (e.g., “Countering Violent Extremism” programs and police surveillance of American Muslim communities), on combating excessive government secrecy (e.g., overclassification of documents and “secret law”), and on establishing oversight and accountability mechanisms for the use of new surveillance technologies by law enforcement.

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: 

  • Hires staff that reflects this country's full range of racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic identity;
  • Considers and hires applicants 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.
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