Counsel, Justice Program
Brennan Center for Justice - New York, NY

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The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on improving the systems of democracy and justice. A singular institution – part think-tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group – the Brennan Center combines research, scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications to win meaningful, measurable change in the public sector. The Brennan Center ’s Justice Program advances data-driven, innovative, practical legal reforms to secure our nation ’s promise of “equal justice for all. ” It seeks to create a rational and effective justice system that treats all people fairly and equally.

Its first goal is to end mass incarceration by reducing the size and reach of the criminal justice system to ensure that it is efficient, improves public safety, and protects individual rights. It also seeks to increase public awareness of the large toll of mass incarceration on the country. Its secondary goal is to improve the effectiveness of the civil justice system to better serve all people. Position: The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is seeking a senior or mid-level attorney to work in the Brennan Center ’s Justice Program.

The Counsel will work on criminal justice reform, as the Justice Program builds a new portfolio in this area focusing on revamping the criminal justice system to end mass incarceration in the United States. This position is for an experienced policy report writer able to draft groundbreaking data-driven legal reports, devise innovative legal and policy proposals, and translate complex arguments into prose accessible to the broader public. The Counsel will work with other attorneys, economists, and research associates to produce these publications. This position will report to the Justice Program Director.

Responsibilities will include: • Writing or co-authoring data-driven legal reform and policy reports furthering core Justice Program goals. • Conducting legal research for reports that shed light on the problem of mass incarceration and other inequities in our justice system, and translating the research of other staff into policy solutions and reports. • Working closely with teams of attorneys, economists, and research associates. • Consulting with Justice Program attorneys and the Director to devise innovative policy recommendations and report ideas.

  • Legal writing for legal briefs, legislative and executive agency testimony, and other legal advocacy documents. • Advancing core program goals through media and communications work, including public speaking engagements, high-profile media appearances, and writing op-eds. Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have: • A J.D. plus at least 3-6 years of legal experience in a law firm, public policy, government, or non-profit legal advocacy organization.
  • Excellent writing skills including the ability to succinctly translate complex concepts into well-organized reports that can be understood by a variety of audiences (including legal, legislative, journalistic, media, and the broader public). • Strong analytic, strategic, and research skills. • Excellent organizational skills, ability to multi-task in a fast-pace environment, attention to detail required, and ability to meet deadlines. • Strong inter-personal skills and ability to manage time-sensitive important projects with multiple staff members - including the ability to delegate responsibility, edit and supervise the work product of junior staff, and work respectfully with other attorneys and economists on project teams.
  • Experience working in criminal law, knowledge of the criminal justice system, or a passion for core Justice Program issues strongly preferred. • At least three non-academic policy publications where the candidate was the primary author or a substantial contributor, or equivalent policy report writing experience preferred. • Experience interpreting and incorporating data and statistics into reports is a plus. • Openness and willingness to learn communications and media work.
No experience with media work required but experience is a plus. • Clerkship or experience as a journal editor is a plus. • A degree in economics, finance, engineering, social science, or undergraduate or graduate degree in another discipline is a plus. • Experience working as a non-lawyer is a plus.

The Brennan Center, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, and applicants who have been previously incarcerated. Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package. Applications: The application deadline is February 1, 2013, 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 (where it says “attach resume ”) as one document the following application materials: cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references. If applicable, please include Internet hyperlinks to authored policy reports. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Justice Counsel ” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.