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Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice & Advocacy Director, Law Enforcement Leaders

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve 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. Brennan Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving 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 Justice Program seeks to improve our criminal justice system through bipartisan efforts to end mass incarceration while keeping the country safe. The program blends law, policy, and economics to produce new empirical and legal analyses, craft innovative policy solutions, and conduct legislative advocacy and litigation to advance this important goal. 

Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration (“LEL”), a project of the Justice Program, is a nonpartisan national coalition of over 200 current and former police chiefs, sheriffs, federal and state prosecutors, and attorneys general from all 50 states. The group’s mission is to urge for a reduction in both crime and incarceration. LEL is led by two co-chairmen, former New Orleans Superintendent Ronal Serpas and former Dallas police chief David Brown, and a Steering Committee of leaders in police and prosecution. Created in 2015, LEL has become a prominent voice in the trans-partisan movement for criminal justice reform. The group’s goal is to vocally communicate to the public and to policymakers that law enforcement believes the country can reduce incarceration while decreasing crime, and to advance such reforms at the federal, state, and local levels. 

Position: The Brennan Center’s Justice Program is seeking an attorney to serve as Advocacy Director to lead the day-to-day work of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration to elevate the voices of LEL and its members. The LEL Advocacy Director will coordinate federal and state advocacy, advance media campaigns, organize annual large public events, and work with law enforcement members while managing LEL staff to accomplish these goals. The start date for this position is May 1, 2018, or as soon as possible. 

The LEL Advocacy Director will: spearhead federal and state advocacy campaigns; help execute and strategize media and communications outreach for members; represent the group at conferences and coalition meetings; manage project budget and assist with fundraising; and write reports, op-eds, letters, testimony, and press statements on behalf of the group, chairmen, and members. The ultimate goal of LEL: persuade lawmakers, the public and media, and other leaders in law enforcement of the need for criminal justice reform. The LEL Advocacy Director will report to the Director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program, with strategic input from LEL’s Chairmen and Steering Committee. 

Responsibilities: 

  • Lead a four-person team, comprised of one attorney, one research and program associate, one communications strategist, and one government affairs specialist, to achieve LEL’s policy, research, legislative, and media goals. 
  • Design and execute legislative campaigns for the group, aimed at lawmakers in Congress and key state legislatures, including the following activities: analyzing legislative reforms; writing testimony, letters of support, and op-eds; editing press documents; and outreaching to policymakers and coalition allies. 
  • Establish and maintain relationships with national and state policymakers, reform organizations, funders, and criminal justice experts. 
  • Research and write reports to advance the group’s goals, and coordinate media and advocacy strategies upon publication. 
  • Work with a communications strategist to: advance major media campaigns to promote efforts of LEL and its members; draft and edit press releases, group statements, and op-eds. 
  • Organize the group’s large annual public event to garner major media attention. 
  • Manage project budget and support fundraising efforts. 
  • Cultivate strong relationships with current members, recruit new members, and enlist members to serve as spokespeople for the group. 
  • Work closely with the Justice Program director, staff, and law enforcement officials in a fast-paced and often unpredictable and changing political environment. 

Qualifications: 

  • J.D. degree plus 5 years of work experience in law, organizing, campaign work, government, or private-sector. 
  • Experience in politics, communications, or working in or with law enforcement is a plus. 
  • Exemplary writing skills, specifically the ability to succinctly translate complex legal concepts and empirical data into accessible prose that can be understood by media, legislative, and public audiences. 
  • Ability to write from a law enforcement perspective. 
  • Knowledge of criminal law and current political events. 
  • Ability to manage junior and senior staff and consultants – including the ability to delegate, hold staff accountable, and take strategic and editing input from senior leadership. 
  • Ability to multi-task, pay attention to detail, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. 
  • A strong work ethic and passion for the project. 

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package. 

Applications: The application deadline is April 15, 2018, but applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as exemplary candidates are identified. To apply, visit http://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/9kU4wnqK3w/Counsel-Brennan-Center-For-Justice-Advocacy-Director-Law-Enforcement-Leaders. Please upload the following application materials: cover letter (copy and paste where indicated), resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references. If applicable, please include Internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples. No phone calls or faxes.

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: brennancenterjobs@nyu.edu with “LEL Advocacy Director and Counsel” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.  Application through our website is strongly preferred.

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, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic identity; 
 
  • Considers and hires applicants 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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