Litigation Counsel, Democracy 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, part cutting-edge 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 seeks a talented and experienced attorney with trial litigation and appellate experience to join the Democracy Program for a Fellowship generously supported by the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. We are deeply involved in the effort to thwart ongoing attacks on voting rights and fair elections and to redress race discrimination in the political process. The attorney will work on a range of democracy-related issues, potentially including voting rights and elections, redistricting and representation, money in politics, and abuse of power. This is a full-time, regular position, and not a term-limited.
The position will focus on trial litigation and appellate advocacy, including managing litigation, developing innovative legal theories, drafting legal briefs and other court filings, and coordinating amicus campaigns. Other work may include legislative and policy advocacy, legal and empirical research, media communications, and public education, based on interest and the Democracy Program’s needs.
Note: this is a hybrid position. Staff are currently working from home 2 days a week. This position is based in New York City or Washington, D.C. It will require occasional travel as well.
- Manage litigation teams of internal and external counsel, including strategy development, motion and brief writing, and research.
- Develop and manage amicus campaigns, including engaging with experts and scholars and coordinating with other organizations and pro bono partners.
- Develop legal strategies to address emerging issues, including identifying areas where empirical or other research is needed.
- Produce legal, academic, or empirical research and writing relevant to litigation or advocacy strategies.
- Write and speak for a general, non-legal audience, including potentially authoring publications and opinion pieces, speaking with the media, and participating in conferences and other public appearances.
- Contribute to productive and collegial work within the team and across departments, including administration, recruitment, communications, and development.
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.
- Substantial legal work experience, including clerkships and experience managing attorneys and non-attorney legal staff.
- Experience with appellate and trial litigation.
- Excellent research, writing, and analytic skills.
- A creative, problem-solving mindset with demonstrated ability to turn ideas into products or actions.
- Strong ability to execute complex research projects and manage projects with significant independence.
- Strong organizational skills and ability to take the lead and delegate tasks as needed in a deadline-driven environment.
- Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to work with diverse constituencies both inside and outside the organization.
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.
To Apply: To apply, please visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/k5ATAZLpIS/Litigation-Counsel-Democracy-Program-And-Bernard-And-Anne-Spitzer-Fellow-Hybrid and upload a cover letter, resume, references and writing sample. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. We prefer applications to be submitted through our website. If you have difficulty uploading these items as one document, e-mail them to email@example.com with “Litigation Counsel, Democracy Program and Bernard and Anne Spitzer Fellow” in the subject line.
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.