Counsel, Democracy Program

Washington, DC
Full Time
Mid Level

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 Overview  
The fight for a more equitable, responsive, and secure democracy has never been more urgent. The Brennan Center seeks a talented attorney to join its team in the Democracy Program, working on a range of issues related to free and fair elections. This position will focus on federal affairs, partnering with policy staff to translate Brennan Center policy positions into desired outcomes in DC. Other work may include related writing, legal research, media communications, or public education, depending on interest and the Democracy Program’s needs. This position will work under the supervision of and in close collaboration with the Managing Director, Federal Affairs, Democracy. 
 
Note: Brennan Center employees adhere to a hybrid schedule that is subject to change, with employees currently required to work in the office a minimum of three days per week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. While most employees follow this in-person schedule, there may be some positions that require additional in-office days. This position is based in Washington, D.C. As the Brennan Center is headquartered in New York City, it will require occasional travel as well.   

Responsibilities Include  

  • Advocating with federal policymakers, including direct communications with policymakers and strategy development with team members and allied organizations.  

  • Assisting with the development and execution of advocacy campaigns. 

  • Advising policy staff on successful federal affairs strategies and tactics.  

  • Mastering organization policy positions and translating them for a general, non-legal audience.  

  • Supporting senior leaders testifying before Congress. 

  • Contributing to productive and collegial work within the team and across departments, including administration, recruitment, communications, and development.  

  • Taking on special projects and other duties as assigned, potentially including related writing for public and legislative audiences.  
      

Qualifications  
Required. The position requires a J.D. The position also requires direct experience working on Capitol Hill or in the Executive Branch.  
 
Ideal. The ideal candidate will have some combination of the following experiences and qualifications. We recognize that many excellent candidates may not have all these experiences and qualifications and we will provide support for the successful candidate to acquire additional skills.  

  • A minimum of three years’ work experience.  

  • Experience with federal policymaking, including anticipating and handling the day-to-day needs of advocacy campaigns.  

  • Comfort working with think tank research and experts.  

  • Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to collaborate productively with diverse stakeholders both inside and outside the organization.   

  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize effectively in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.   

  • A creative, problem-solving mindset with demonstrated ability to turn ideas into action.  

  • Excellent legal research, writing, and analytic skills.  

  • Experience working with civil rights, immigrant rights, or good government organizations, or community-based groups in a legal or non-legal capacity.  

  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

  • A growth mindset that seeks and applies constructive feedback.  

 
The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true self and feel a strong sense of belonging. As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, we expect employees to participate/contribute with DEI initiatives or activities with recruitment, retention, and workplace culture. 


Application Instructions: 
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage interested applicants to apply early, as the position will be filled once a qualified candidate is found. To apply, visit <<THIS LINK>>. Please upload the following documents: (1) a cover letter, and (2) resume. References and/or writing samples will be requested at a later stage in the process.      

Please, no phone calls or faxes; 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: [email protected] with “Counsel, Democracy Program” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.    

Compensation and Benefits:    
This is a scaled position. The salary range assigned for this position is $110,200 - $178,800 and has been determined based on market competitiveness. Each salary in the scale is determined by the number of years of professional experience after the selected candidate graduated from law school. Additionally, we offer a very robust and competitive array of benefits such as a generous time off program, 401k plan, comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), and wellness and office perks.     
   
In addition, this position is part of a bargaining unit represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW local 2320.     
   
Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors. As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including having a booster, or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption.     

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

  • Welcomes applicants with disabilities and applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities, sexual orientations, and national origin or citizenship, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • Hires diverse candidates and works to improve our recruitment practices to allow for such
  • 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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