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Counsel, Justice Program (EAB)

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

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

Position: The Justice Program is seeking an attorney to join a cutting-edge team that is part of a national trans-partisan movement to end mass incarceration in the United States. This is a signal moment for criminal justice reform. Crime and punishment are front and center in the national political debate. Leaders from across the political spectrum agree on the need for bold solutions, but they must adapt their strategies and policies to confront a challenging political environment. 

The Counsel will lead an interdisciplinary team working to produce and publish groundbreaking data-driven reports. Research topics include trends in and causes of crime, and the economic and societal costs of mass incarceration. The Counsel will supervise an economist and a research associate, and work in close collaboration with other attorneys, communications professionals, and the Brennan Center’s Economic Advisory Board under the direction of the Justice Program’s Director. 


  • Authoring legal, policy, and empirical reports that translate complex legal and policy concepts, and the work of economists and researchers, into accessible prose. 
  • Supervising an economist and researchers; and project-managing reports through every phase — from inception, research, writing, editing, to rollout — to produce high quality work on deadline. 
  • Leading advocacy efforts to advance policy reform goals through written testimony and public writing, outreach to lawmakers and officials, and litigation. 
  • Working with researchers to devise study methodology with substantive input and language edits from the Economic Advisory Board, Brennan Center leadership, and communications professionals. 
  • Working with the Justice Program Director to devise report ideas, advocacy goals, and litigation strategy. 
  • Advancing program goals through media and communications work, including public speaking, media appearances, and public writing in the form of op-eds and blog posts. 


  • A J.D. degree plus 4-8 years of legal experience in a law firm, public policy, government, nonprofit, or private-sector organization. 
  • A comfort with numbers and statistics; and strong analytical, strategic, and research skills. Willingness to learn more about economic and quantitative work. 
  • Top notch writing skills, including the ability to succinctly translate complex legal concepts and empirical analyses into accessible prose that can be understood by a variety of audiences (including legal, legislative, journalistic, media, and the broader public. 
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills. Ability to manage project teams – including the ability to delegate, hold staff accountable, and take strategic and editing input from senior leadership. 
  • Ability to multitask, pay attention to detail, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. 
  • A passion for public interest law and a strong work ethic. 
  • Background in or experience with quantitative research is a plus. 

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, gender identity and expression, and applicants who have been previously incarcerated. 

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package. 

Applications: The application deadline is February 15, 2019, but applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. To apply, visit Please upload (where it says “attach resume”) as one document the following application materials: cover letter, resume, a writing sample, and contact information for three references. If applicable, please include hyperlinks to authored writing samples. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Justice Counsel” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

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, and socioeconomic identities; 

  • 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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