Counsel (Policy Focused)

$70,000 - $80,000 yearly
  • Fair Elections Center
  • Remote
  • Oct 11, 2022
Full time Legal

Job Description

Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit voting rights and election reform organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to use litigation and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, particularly those disenfranchising underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to improve election administration.

The Center litigates cutting-edge voting rights cases in federal and state court and engages in a wide variety of advocacy efforts, including: drafting state legislation to protect and expand voting rights and submitting testimony in support of positive reforms; advocating to defeat voter suppression bills and rules; producing reports, talking points, and fact sheets on election modernization proposals and issues affecting people of color voters and members of language minority groups; updating our state voter guides for all 50 states; conducting trainings and seminars on voting issues for community organizations and their supporters; and working directly with Secretaries of State and local election officials to ensure that the right to vote is protected and expanded. We provide election law expertise to state-based civic engagement coalitions and community organizations that need help accessing the ballot as they plan their programs, encounter problems, and engage elections officials.

 

Position, Duties & Responsibilities:

Fair Elections Center is seeking an attorney with a background or strong interest in civil rights, voting rights, and/or election reform to join our legal team. The position will focus on advancing the Center’s state policy advocacy priorities, though the counsel will also assist with the Center’s active litigation docket. This work includes pending challenges to new citizenship investigation procedures restricting voter registration in Arizona, Kentucky’s arbitrary voting rights restoration scheme for people with felony convictions, restrictions and penalties imposed on voter registration groups in Florida, and the threatened rejection of absentee ballots in Wisconsin for technical, immaterial defects. We litigate with many partners, including our co-counsel at the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, Law Forward, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, and Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

 

Primary responsibilities for this Counsel position will include the following:

 

  1. Working with partner election reform, registration, and mobilization groups and coalitions to advance legislation, rules, and administrative practices which expand voter participation and preserve voting rights, and to oppose voter suppression measures.

  2. Engaging in ongoing outreach to state and local election officials to discuss reform initiatives and identify opportunities to collaborate to improve voters’ access to the ballot.

  3. Collaborating on researching and drafting policy reports and other publications on election reform and voting rights.

  4. Working as part of Fair Elections Center’s legal team to develop and litigate all aspects of federal and state lawsuits to protect and expand the right to vote, including investigating voting rights barriers, drafting internal legal research memos, coordinating with partners on the ground, recruiting clients, drafting complaints, conducting discovery, drafting briefs in the trial court and on appeal, and more.

  5. Supporting the work of the Center’s Campus Vote Project to expand and protect voting rights for college student voters.

  6. Drafting op-eds and blog posts to communicate the impact of various election reforms to wider audiences and to oppose voter suppression efforts; and

  7. Additional responsibilities include speaking engagements, attending staff and partner meetings, and assisting with the review of development materials.

 

Qualifications:

A J.D. is required, as is a minimum of one year post-J.D. experience, which can include any mix of clerkships, fellowships, and/or practice. Defending our democracy and the right to vote at this perilous moment is a tremendous privilege, as well as a tremendous challenge. A passion for the defense of civil rights and voting rights is essential, as is an interest in an inclusive democracy. Policy experience is a plus, but prior litigation experience is not required. Candidates with some familiarity with election and voting laws and/or policy, some knowledge of barriers to registration and voting and the mechanics of elections, and some familiarity with grassroots, community-based organizations or campaign organizing are strongly preferred as well. Candidates need a proven ability to multitask, work collaboratively and meet deadlines. 

The applicant must currently be a member of a State Bar and ultimately be able to waive into the D.C. Bar in the future. This position is located in Washington, DC but well-qualified remote candidates will be considered.

As the pandemic wanes, some travel will once again be required for advocacy, litigation, coalition meetings, and speaking engagements.

Salary for this position will range from $70,000 - $80,000 depending on experience. Benefits include generous vacation and employer-paid health, dental and vision coverage, life, and disability insurance as well as a 403(b) pension plan with employer contribution.

 

Fair Elections Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value diversity in our work environment and believe it furthers our mission to create and preserve an inclusive democracy for all voters and for underrepresented and marginalized communities in particular. Applicants from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

 

To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples that demonstrate your legal research and writing to Kristina Moore at kmoore@fairelectionscenter.org.