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Special Assistant to the Justice Program Director

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, 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 at the federal and state level. 

Position: The Justice Program seeks an energetic, motivated, well-organized individual who will provide administrative support and research and drafting assistance to the Program Director. The Special Assistant will report to the Justice Program Director and will work closely with the Director in all aspects of her role. The Special Assistant will play a central role in the daily responsibilities of the Director and the program. The role is part administrative and part research and writing. 

The ideal candidate is an individual considering a career in law, public policy, or nonprofit advocacy and looking to develop the critical organizational skills, analytic ability, attention to detail, and experience with research and writing essential to future success in the professional world. This is a terrific opportunity for someone 1-3 years out of college interested in learning about law, policy, leadership, and management and/or planning to attend law school. 


  • Supporting and working closely with the Director, providing substantive and administrative support on all aspects of program management. 
  • Managing the Director’s demanding schedule and travel arrangements. 
  • Managing relationships with key external constituents, including allies, lawmakers, donors, Board of Directors, and the media. 
  • Managing and expanding the Director’s media contacts and profile, assisting with executing media outreach plans, and increasing the Program’s social media profile. 
  • Providing research, drafting, editing, and proofreading for the Director’s public presentations, op-eds, articles, reports, and other writings. Completing time-sensitive research or other requests for the Director as they arise. 
  • Providing research, fact-checking, and editing for program reports and legal briefs. 
  • Opportunity to publish op-eds, blogs, or other writings under own name. 
  • Providing general administrative support, including drafting correspondence, answering and screening telephone calls and email, and ensuring requests to the Director are appropriately handled in a timely and professional manner. 
  • Assisting with fundraising, program coordination, hiring, and monitoring all departmental expenditures, working with Justice Program staff and Communication, Development, and Executive teams. 
  • Writing and distributing two daily internal e-news services with breaking criminal justice news. Providing quick and accurate research to support program responses to breaking news. Providing research and drafting for reports on federal criminal justice advocacy. 


  • A bachelor’s degree. 
  • 1-3 years of work experience preferred. 
  • Enthusiasm for politics, law, or public policy. 
  • A high-level of professionalism, integrity, discretion, and tact. 
  • Superb writing, communication, and research skills. 
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to multi-task in a fast-pace environment, keen attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines. Energy, self-reliance, ability to take initiative, and excellent inter-personal skills. 
  • Superb research skills, especially monitoring the news. 
  • Openness to evolving responsibilities, a sense of humor, and positive attitude. 
  • Proficiency in MS Office (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). 
  • A willingness to work overtime hours to meet important deadlines or complete urgent projects. 
  • Experience working in the communications sector or in media is a plus. 

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package. 

Applications: The application deadline is March 1, 2018, 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 the following application materials: cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references. If applicable, please include Internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples.  If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Special Assistant to the Director, Justice Program” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

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. 

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