Counsel (Entry-Level), Voting Rights and Elections Program

New York, NY
Full Time
Entry Level

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.

Position

The Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program seeks a talented attorney to join a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary team working collaboratively to ensure that all U.S. citizens have free and equal access to the ballot box. The attorney’s focus will be to combat voter suppression and advance pro-voter reforms at the state and federal levels.

The past ten years have seen a 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. Our Voting Rights and Elections Program advocates for free, fair, and accessible elections, with special focus on the ways systemic barriers impede electoral participation by communities of color.  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 is an entry-level position reporting to the Voting Rights and Elections Program Director or Deputy Director, although the Counsel may be assigned to work under the direction of other team members as needed. 

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 Include

  • Providing research support for reports and policy proposals, including research (legal, social science, and news-based), fact checking, legal cite checking, and proofreading.
  • Assisting with policy advocacy, sometimes through work in coalitions, to change policies and laws at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Supporting the preparation of written work (including articles, opinion pieces, speeches, reports, and organizational materials), with opportunities for named authorship.
  • Co-authoring reports and policy proposals, with opportunities for named authorship.
  • Participating in litigation, including research, brief writing, and strategy development, with team members, allied organizations, and/or pro bono law firm counsel.
  • Taking on special projects and other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

Required. The position requires a J.D. and admission to the bar of the office where the employee is based (or admission within one year of being hired). This is an entry-level position open to applicants who are recent law school graduates, judicial law clerks, and others with 1-2 years of post-law school experience.  

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.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent legal research and analysis skills.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Summer/Fall 2022

Salary: The salary is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience, set according to a published scale for Counsel compensation. A generous benefits package is provided as well.

Applications: The application deadline is May 6, 2022, but applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. To apply, visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/T7dh7jxWZY/Counsel-EntryLevel-Voting-Rights-And-Elections-Program.  Please upload the following application materials as one document: cover letter, resume, two writing samples (up to 10 pages each), and contact information for three references.  If applicable, include Internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples.  

Please, no phone calls or faxes and 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 (Entry-Level), Voting Rights and Elections 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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