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Counsel, Democracy Program

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. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve 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’s Democracy Program advances and defends core democratic values and includes projects dedicated to stopping vote suppression, 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 and equitable redistricting and census process. The program seeks to bring the ideal of representative self-government closer to reality by eliminating barriers to full and equal political participation, by countering racial discrimination in our electoral and political systems, and by striving to ensure that public policy and institutions represent and reflect the diverse voices and interests that make for a rich democracy.

We seek a talented attorney to join our work to build a robust, participatory, and inclusive democracy. The attorney will report directly to the Democracy Program’s Vice President, providing support for special projects and initiatives, as well as working across teams in the Program on a mix of priority long term and short term projects.  This is an in-person position located in our New York office.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Conduct legal and factual research and public writing in support of policy advocacy, legislative reform, and communications initiatives.
  • Provide research, editing, and writing support to Vice President for articles, speeches, testimony, reports, amicus briefs, and other organizational materials.
  • Participate in impact litigation and advocacy campaigns for democracy reform.
  • Write and speak for a general, non-legal audience, including occasional opinion pieces and public appearances.
  • Help manage legal or advocacy initiatives.

Qualifications

Required. The position requires a J.D. and admission to the New York State Bar (or admission within six months 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.

  • 0-3 years legal work experience, including any clerkships. This is an entry level legal position.
  • Excellent research and writing skills, including ability to write for legal, policy, and public audiences.
  • Strong legal research and analysis skills.
  • Strong organizational skill and ability to take the lead and delegate tasks as needed in a deadline-driven environment.
  • An interest in the Democracy Program’s issues.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to work with diverse constituencies both inside and outside the organization.
  • An openness to evolving responsibilities.

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: No sooner than October 4th, 2021

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

To Apply: To apply, please visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/mQWy5nd9Lw/Counsel-Democracy-Program and upload, as a single document (where it says “attach resume”), a cover letter, resume, 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 brennancenterjobs@nyu.edu with “Counsel, Democracy Program” 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 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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