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Research & Program Associate, Justice Program, NY

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 innovative policy solutions to advance this goal at the federal and state levels. 

Position: The Justice Program is seeking a full-time Research & Program Associate (RPA) to join a cutting edge inter-disciplinary team working to end mass incarceration in the United States. The RPA will provide research and administrative support for litigation, policy, advocacy, and research projects, and will report to program senior counsel. Assignments will include work with Brennan Center attorneys as well as a coalition group called Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration (“LEL”), a project of the Brennan Center. Projects will include evaluating proposed criminal justice legislation; studying best practices for criminal justice innovation; drafting policy proposals, public letters and op-eds; and assisting in coordination for the LEL coalition group, which includes over 200 top law enforcement officials from around the country. The ideal candidate will be a college graduate who is considering a career in law, public policy, law enforcement, or social science. 


  • Conduct legal, factual, and historical research, including cite-checking and data analysis. 
  • Assist with drafting and editing of publications, briefs, newsletters, blog posts, and other public communications. 
  • Provide support for a wide range of administrative, program, and paralegal tasks, including (but not limited to) making travel arrangements, copy-editing, and processing receipts. Administrative work could be up to 50 percent of the position. 
  • Organizing and staffing program and organization events, including assisting with rollout of publications, and planning convenings. 
  • Working with key stakeholders including LEL members, attorneys, researchers, communications and development professionals, other research and program associates, and organizational leadership. 


  • A bachelor’s degree. 1-2 years’ work experience preferred. (This is an entry level position; lawyers and individuals with advanced degrees will not be considered.) 
  • Exceptional research and writing skills, and excellent analytical and organizational skills. 
  • The ability to work effectively in a team-based and deadline-driven environment, while receiving strategic direction from organizational leadership. 
  • Openness to receiving and implementing feedback. 
  • Taking a creative, problem-solving approach to research, such as locating hard to find information. 
  • Understanding of the importance of administrative work. 
  • Ability to work with data and statistics; experience with Excel helpful but not required. 
  • Strong communications skills and comfort reaching out to allied organizations, public officials, reporters, and members of the public. 
  • Interest in criminal justice reform, public policy, or law. 

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package. 

Applications: The application deadline is March 1, 2020, 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 as one document (where it says “attach resume”) the following application materials: cover letter, resume, writing sample (up to 10 pages), and contact information for three references. If applicable, please include Internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples. Please, no phone calls or faxes. Please identify where you saw this ad - it is strongly preferred that you apply on our website. 

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Research & Program Associate, Justice Program/LEL” 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, socioeconomic identities, gender identities, and sexual orientations; 

  • 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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