Counsel/Senior Counsel, Justice Program and Law Enforcement Leaders

New York
Full Time
Experienced

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 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, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

The Brennan Center’s Justice Program aims to secure our nation’s promise of “equal justice for all” by tackling racial disparities and economic injustice in the criminal justice system, promoting a dignity-centered approach to crime and punishment that is rational, effective, and just. Its priority focus is to reform the criminal legal system to shrink reliance on mass incarceration and mitigate its pernicious effects.  

Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration (“LEL”), a project of the Justice Program, is a nonpartisan national coalition of 200 current and former police chiefs, sheriffs, corrections directors, federal and state prosecutors, and attorneys general from all 50 states. The group’s mission is to reduce both crime and incarceration. Created in 2015, LEL has become a prominent voice in the growing bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform. The group’s goals are: (1) to vocally communicate to the public, policymakers, and media that law enforcement believes the country can safely reduce incarceration while decreasing crime; and (2) to advocate for reforms in line with this mission at the federal and state level.

Position: The Justice Program is seeking a full-time, mid-to-senior-level attorney to manage the day-to-day work of LEL, joining a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary team working collaboratively to shrink the footprint of mass incarceration in the United States. This is a signal moment in criminal justice reform. Crime and punishment are front and center in the national political debate. Leaders across the political spectrum agree on the need for bold solutions but must adapt their strategies and policies to confront a challenging political environment.

Reporting to the Justice Program Director, the Counsel will manage the day-to-day work of LEL. This position provides a wonderful opportunity for experienced public-interest lawyers looking for leadership roles, and for attorneys with political campaign and communications experience. The candidate will join a thriving organization at the heart of the fight for democracy and justice. The Center’s culture is intellectually stimulating and collegial, committed to fostering the professional development of its employees. 

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.

Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and execute legislative campaigns for the group, aimed at lawmakers in Congress and key state legislatures, including the following activities: analyzing legislative reforms; writing testimony, letters of support, group statements, newsletters, and op-eds; drafting and editing press documents; and spearheading outreach to policymakers and coalition allies.
  • Promote efforts of LEL and its members and coordinate large public media events.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with current members, recruit new members, and enlist members to serve as spokespeople for the group; and oversee day-to-day operations of the group. 
  • Coordinate with LEL’s Executive Director and Board members on advocacy efforts and strategic long-term planning.
  • Work closely with the Justice Program director, staff, and law enforcement officials in a fast-paced and often unpredictable and changing political environment. 
  • Potentially research and write reports to advance LEL’s and the Justice Program’s goals and coordinate media and advocacy strategies upon publication.

 

Qualifications

  • J.D. degree required plus 5 or more years of work experience, preferably working with law enforcement officials to support the larger justice reform movement. 
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to manage staff and consultants and take strategic and editing input from senior leadership.
  • Excellent research and writing skills, specifically an ability to succinctly translate complex legal concepts and empirical data into accessible prose for a general audience.
  • Ability to write from the perspective of a law-enforcement official.
  • Ability to multi-task, work under pressure, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, self-reliance, and strong work ethic.
  • A passion for public interest law.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of racial justice.  
  • Knowledge of criminal law and current political landscape, or willingness to learn both.

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. 

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: The application deadline is June 13, 2022, but applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as exemplary candidates are identified. To apply, visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/DpiNceLqtM/CounselSenior-Counsel-Justice-Program-And-Law-Enforcement-Leaders. Please upload as one document the following application materials: cover letter, resume, writing sample (up to 10 pages), and contact information for three references. If applicable, please include Internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples. Please, no phone calls or faxes.  Please identify where you saw this ad - it is strongly preferred that you apply on our website.  

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: brennancenterjobs@nyu.edu with “Counsel/Senior Counsel, Justice Program” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

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.
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