View Our Website View All Jobs

Counsel, Justice Program & Project 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 200 current and former police chiefs, sheriffs, federal and state prosecutors, and attorneys general from all 50 states. The group’s mission is to reduce both crime and incarceration together. 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 police and prosecution leaders. Created in 2015, LEL has become a prominent voice in the growing bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform. The group’s goals are: (1) to vocally communicate to the public, policymakers, and media that law enforcement believes the country can safely reduce incarceration while decreasing crime; and (2) to advocate for reforms in line with this mission at the federal and state level.

Position: The Brennan Center’s Justice Program seeks an experienced attorney and manager to serve as Project Director to lead the day-to-day work of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration and play a management role within the Justice Program. Reporting to the Justice Program Director, the LEL Project Director will: spearhead federal and state legislative campaigns; draft and edit research reports, op-eds, letters, testimony, and press statements on behalf of LEL, its leadership, and individual members; help execute media and communications strategy; organize and speak at large public events; and lead a four-person team, manage project budget, and assist with fundraising. 


  • Lead a four-person team, comprised of a junior attorney, research and program associate, communications strategist, and government affairs specialist, to achieve LEL’s policy, research, legislative, and media goals. 
  • Develop 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; coordinating with policymakers and coalition allies. 
  • Establish and maintain relationships with national and state policymakers, reform organizations, funders, and criminal justice experts, and serve as a spokesperson for the group. 
  • Research and write reports to advance LEL’s goals, coordinating media and advocacy strategies upon publication. 
  • Creatively work with a communications strategist to: advance major media campaigns to promote efforts of LEL and its members; draft and edit press releases, op-eds, group statements, and newsletters; and coordinate large public media events. 
  • 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. 


  • J.D. degree plus more than 8 years of work experience in law, policy, politics, government, private-sector, or organizing. 
  • Strong management skills, including the ability to: manage junior and senior staff and consultants, delegate, hold staff accountable, and take strategic and editing input from senior leadership. 
  • 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. 
  • Ability to multi-task, pay attention to detail, work under pressure, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. 
  • A strong work ethic and a passion for public interest law. 
  • Knowledge of criminal law and current political events, or willingness to learn both. 

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

Applications: The application deadline is September 14, 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 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 in your cover letter. No phone calls or faxes please.  Please reference where you saw this posting.

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Justice Program Counsel and LEL Project Director” 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.
Read More

Apply for this position

Apply with Indeed
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.

Invitation for Job Applicants to Self-Identify as a U.S. Veteran
  • A “disabled veteran” is one of the following:
    • a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or
    • a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • A “recently separated veteran” means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.
  • An “active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran” means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
  • An “Armed forces service medal veteran” means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.
Veteran status

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form CC-305
OMB Control Number 1250-0005
Expires 1/31/2020
Why are you being asked to complete this form?

Because we do business with the government, we must reach out to, hire, and provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities.i To help us measure how well we are doing, we are asking you to tell us if you have a disability or if you ever had a disability. Completing this form is voluntary, but we hope that you will choose to fill it out. If you are applying for a job, any answer you give will be kept private and will not be used against you in any way.

If you already work for us, your answer will not be used against you in any way. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we are required to ask all of our employees to update their information every five years. You may voluntarily self-identify as having a disability on this form without fear of any punishment because you did not identify as having a disability earlier.

How do I know if I have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair
  • Intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation)
Please check one of the boxes below:

You must enter your name and date
Your Name Today's Date
Reasonable Accommodation Notice

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job or to perform your job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process or work procedures, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.

iSection 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of Federal contractors, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.