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Bernard and Anne Spitzer Fellow

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

Location: New York, NY or Washington, DC 

Position Description 

The Brennan Center’s Democracy Program seeks a mid level or senior attorney for a two-year Fellowship generously supported by the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust.  Applicants need not propose a fellowship project.  The Fellow will focus primarily on research, developing policy proposals, and public writing on democracy-related issues. Audiences for these publications include: federal, state, and local lawmakers; government officials and staff; legal and social science academics; other experts in the field; journalists and editorial boards; coalition partners; and the general public. The Fellow will work in several of the Democracy Program’s issue areas, which include voting, election security, money in politics, fair courts, redistricting and representation, the census, and abuse of power. Over time, the fellow may also contribute to other work advancing Democracy Program goals. Responsibilities include: 

  • Researching, developing and authoring reports and policy proposals for a wide variety of audiences – legal, legislative, media, and public. 
  • Advancing program goals through media and public communications, including opinion pieces, blog posts, media appearances, public speaking engagements, and participation in conferences. 
  • Legal advocacy, including counseling federal and state policy makers and advocates, drafting and reviewing legislation, and contributing to litigation. 
  • Contributing to the effective administration of the program, including supervision and mentoring of junior staff, participation in recruitment and hiring, and working with communications, research, and development professionals. 
  • Participating in the Brennan Center Fellows Program.

Qualifications 

The Fellowship is designed to create opportunities for experienced attorneys – mid level or senior – seeking to shift from law firm, corporate, or government practice to a public interest career. The Fellowship is also open to public interest attorneys in other fields who wish to change focus to the Brennan Center’s issue areas. Those with an interest in pursuing an academic teaching career after the fellowship are also encouraged to apply. The ideal candidate will have: 

  • At least five years’ experience in the legal, academic, governmental, or nonprofit advocacy sectors. 
  • Top-notch writing skills, including an ability to succinctly translate complex legal concepts and empirical data into prose understandable by legal, legislative, media, and public audiences. 
  • The ability to produce written product in collaboration with Brennan Center colleagues, open to strategic and editing input from senior leadership and able to provide editorial assistance to others. 
  • An enterprising mindset and a passion for the work of the Brennan Center. 
  • Excellent analytic, strategic, and research skills. 
  • Openness to feedback. 
  • The ability to work effectively in a team-based and deadline-driven environment. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to work with diverse constituencies both inside and outside the organization. 
  • A commitment to civil rights and racial equity. 

Required: The position requires a J.D. 

Applications 

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with the position to be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. To apply, please visit https://brennancenter.applytojob.com/apply/NF3FmBKJU9/Bernard-And-Anne-Spitzer-Fellow and upload (in pdf) the following application materials: cover letter (copy and paste in the space provided), 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 “Spitzer Fellow” 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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