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Bernard and Anne Spitzer Fellow (Washington, DC Position)

Bernard and Anne Spitzer Fellowship
Brennan Center for Justice – Washington, DC Office

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.

Position: The Brennan Center seeks a mid-level or senior attorney, with a minimum of five years of experience in the legal, academic, governmental or nonprofit advocacy sectors, for a three-year Fellowship generously supported by the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Fellow will work as an attorney in the Brennan Center’s Washington, DC Office, working with leadership from the Brennan Center’s New York and Washington, DC Offices. We expect the Fellow to work primarily on democracy issues, including defending the rule of law against government overreach and abuse, protecting and promoting voting rights, and promoting reform of our democratic systems.

Responsibilities: The Fellow will work with Brennan Center staff and key allies to advance Brennan Center goals and priorities in Washington, DC and nationally. Specific responsibilities may include:

  • Advancing Brennan Center goals and priorities in Congress and the Executive Branch by counseling and lobbying members of Congress, Executive Branch officials, and their staff; drafting and reviewing legislation; and coordinating legislative and policy advocacy (including legislative testimony).
  • Managing relationships with key constituencies – especially the think tanks and civil rights, democracy, and social justice organizations and coalitions based in Washington – to develop strategic partnerships and strengthen the Brennan Center’s presence and effectiveness in the nation’s capital.
  • Advancing Brennan Center ideas and messages through media outreach and public communications, including public speaking engagements, media appearances, public writing (op-eds, articles, and blog posts), and attending or hosting conferences.
  • Performing legal and academic research, as well as authoring reports that shed light on problems in our systems of democracy and propose concrete policy solutions.

Qualifications: The Spitzer Fellowship was designed to create opportunities for attorneys – midlevel or senior – hoping to make the transition to a public interest career from law firms, corporate practice or government. The Fellowship is also open to public interest attorneys in other fields who want to make a career in the substantive work of the Brennan Center. For this hire, experience in government is a plus. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Exceptional writing skills – and the desire to write for a variety of audiences including legal, legislative, journalistic, and public.
  • Excellent analytic, strategic, and research skills.
  • The ability to work effectively in a team-based and deadline-driven environment.
  • Creativity, versatility, and flexibility.
  • Ability to work effectively in a coalition and with diverse clients and allies, and in a complex office environment with multiple reporting relationships.
  • Openness to feedback.
  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the work of the Brennan Center.
  • Demonstrated success with public advocacy, and/or working with the media.

A J.D. degree and admission in the District of Columbia or New York bar (with an ability to waive into the DC bar) either before or shortly after employment commences, are required.

Salary: The salary is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience. An excellent benefits package is available as well.

Applications: Applications are due by March 24, 2017, but earlier applications will be considered on a rolling basis. To apply, please visit and upload (where it says “attach resume”) as one document the following application materials: cover letter, resume, two writing samples (up to 10 pages each), and contact information for three references. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Spitzer Fellowship (Washington, DC Office)” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

As an equal opportunity affirmative action employer, the Brennan Center is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, and applicants who have been previously incarcerated.

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