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Attorney, Voting Rights & Elections

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 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, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion. 

Position: The Brennan Center seeks an exceptional attorney to work in our Voting Rights and Elections project. The Voting Rights and Elections project works to ensure that voting is free, fair, and accessible for all citizens of the United States. Team members work to advance these goals through a combination of advocacy, litigation, academic research and writing, strategic communications, public education, and legislative drafting.  The ideal candidate will have experience in one or more of the following areas: senior-level positions in politics or government, Supreme Court or appellate litigation (preferably in civil rights cases), and running statewide campaigns.  We are not currently considering candidates with fewer than three years of legal experience. 

Responsibilities include: 

  • Authoring groundbreaking studies and reports that shed light on problems in our systems of democracy and propose concrete policy solutions. 
  • Advancing Brennan Center goals through media and public communications, including public speaking engagements, media appearances, op-eds, blog posts, and conferences. 
  • Litigating appellate and trial court cases or drafting amicus briefs to protect and expand voting rights, including work on case development, discovery, motions, and briefs. 
  • Counseling federal and state policy makers and advocates, drafting and reviewing legislation, and driving legislative and policy advocacy at the state and federal levels. 
  • Performing legal, legislative, and academic research in support of the Voting team’s efforts to improve the elections process. 
  • Contributing to the effective administration of a dynamic and wide-ranging program, including participation in recruitment and hiring, and working with communications and development professionals. 
  • Taking temporary assignments on other project teams when needed.
  • Managing, guiding, and mentoring junior staff members assigned to projects. 

Qualifications: The position requires a J.D., admission in the New York State Bar, either before or shortly after the position commences.  This position requires exceptional research, writing, and editing skills (for a variety of audiences, including legal, legislative, journalistic, and public), and comfort with being edited by others. The position also requires strong strategic thinking skills, and the capacity to execute and achieve the intended goals. 

The ideal candidate will be a person who is: 

  • Creative, versatile, resilient, adaptable, and driven to meet objectives even when there is no pre-set path to success and the operating environment is constantly changing. 
  • Skilled at writing -- with the ability and the desire to write for a variety of audiences including legal, legislative, journalistic, and public.
  • Adept at inspiring and persuading people, working effectively in partnership with a diverse array of allies and funders, and identifying new opportunities for fruitful collaboration.
  • Strategic and entrepreneurial in identifying new impactful areas of work and ways to advance our objectives, with a special focus on the ways in which our work impacts diverse communities. 
  • Excited about working in a team-based and deadline-driven environment, with the ability to maintain an active and demanding work docket. 
  • Welcoming of feedback from colleagues across the organization and at all levels of experience. 
  • Passionate about the work of the Brennan Center. 
  • Proven in the area of public speaking and working with the media. 

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

Salary: The salary is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience based on a lock step system. A generous benefits package is available as well. 

Applications: The application process will remain open until the position is filled, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis. To apply, please visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/CNT0NQlGgp/Counsel-Democracy-Program-Voting-Rights-Elections and upload (in pdf) 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: brennancenterjobs@nyu.edu with “Attorney (Voting)” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.

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, and socioeconomic identities; 

  • 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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