Economist / Economics Research Fellow, Justice Program
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law - 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 research fellow in economics to work in the Justice Program. The position will be for one-year with the possibility of a one year extension. The position is strongly preferred to begin at the beginning of the 2013 calendar year, but applications to start later will be considered. The Brennan Center prides itself on data-driven, evenhanded, and interdisciplinary research to inform its legal and policy recommendations. The economics research fellow is expected to provide the economic theory, statistical, and mathematical expertise to aid in this process.

The fellow will report to the Justice Program Director. Fellows are expected to conduct rigorous research for the Brennan Center on inter-disciplinary teams with attorneys and research associates. The fellow is expected to apply economic analysis (both theoretical and empirical) to criminal justice reform proposals. The fellow will have the ability to engage in independent research and publish in highly-ranked peer-reviewed economics journals.

This position will have a heavy focus on criminal justice reform, as the Justice Program strengthens its portfolio in this area. The position will also work on reforms to the civil justice system.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting primary and secondary research for policy reports furthering core program goals with teams staffed by attorneys and research associates.
  • Performing cost-benefit analysis and other economic analysis, which may include use of econometrics and regressions, and compiling data using statistical and mathematical analyses.
  • Consulting with Justice Program attorneys and the Director to devise innovative policy recommendations and report ideas with a sound basis in economic theory, and distilling economic concepts to staff from other disciplines.
  • Conducting research for legislative and executive agency testimony, legal briefs, and other advocacy documents.
  • Creating engaging and accessible formats to present research conclusions for reports and other publications through public speaking engagements, media appearances, op-eds, attending academic conferences, and engaging the academic community at NYU.


  • Ph.D. in economics.
  • Expertise in statistics, econometrics, and mathematics. Candidates should be comfortable engaging in primary and secondary research, interpreting data, and performing new analysis.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills (for a variety of audiences, including legal, legislative, journalistic, and public).
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment, attention to, and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work effectively with a team and explain complex economic concepts to other staff members allies, lawmakers, and the broader public.
  • Ability to quickly learn and understand new areas of work.
  • Experience with criminal justice preferred but not necessary, and experience conducting cost-benefit analyses or analyzing government budgets is a plus.
  • A J.D., political science degree, or additional degree in another discipline 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, two writing samples (up to 10 pages each), and contact information for three references.

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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...