Counsel, Elections and Government Program

$92,500 - $118,500 yearly
  • Brennan Center for Justice
  • Hybrid (120 Broadway, New York, NY, USA)
  • Jan 02, 2024
Full time Government Legal Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the 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. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve constitutional protections 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 Elections and Government Program works to improve the administration of our elections so that they are free, fair, and accessible for all voters; reform campaign finance and amplify the voices of everyday people in politics; combat election disinformation and political violence that often disproportionately harm voters, election workers, and candidates of color and other political minorities; and put forward solutions to ensure that government institutions have the capacity to meet contemporary challenges, among other goals. This work aims to bring the ideal of representative self-government closer to reality by eliminating barriers to full and equal political participation, countering racial and other discrimination in our electoral and political systems, and striving to ensure that public policy and institutions are effective and reflect the diverse voices and interests that make for a rich democracy. 

The fight for a more secure, responsive, and equitable democracy has never been more urgent. The Brennan Center seeks a talented early career attorney to join its team in the Elections and Government Program, working on a range of issues related to defending the security of our elections, breaking down barriers to political participation, restraining campaign finance abuses, countering disinformation, and bolstering the integrity and responsiveness of government.  

The Brennan Center’s methods include legislative and policy advocacy, legal and empirical research and writing, litigation, media communications, and public education. This is an in-person position based in New York City or Washington, D.C. It will require occasional travel. 

Note: Brennan Center employees adhere to a hybrid schedule that is subject to change, with most employees currently working in the office a minimum of three days per week. This position is based in New York City or Washington, D.C. It will require occasional travel as well.  

Responsibilities Include 

  • Assisting with policy advocacy, sometimes through work in coalitions, to change policies and laws at the local, state, and federal levels. 

  • Participating in litigation, including research, brief writing, and strategy development, with team members, allied organizations, and/or pro bono law firm counsel. 

  • Authoring and otherwise supporting the preparation of written work (including articles, opinion pieces, speeches, reports, policy proposals, and organizational materials), with opportunities for named authorship. 

  • Providing research support for reports and policy proposals, including research (legal, social science, and news-based), fact checking, legal cite checking, and proofreading. 

  • Representing the Brennan Center in meetings and other interactions with external stakeholders, including government officials, allies, donors, and journalists. 

  • Helping to supervise and mentor program associates and legal and undergraduate interns.  

  • Taking on special projects and other duties as assigned. 

Required:  The position requires a J.D. and admission to the bar of the office where the employee is based. This position is open to applicants who are recent law school graduates, judicial law clerks, and others with 1-4 years of post-law school experience.  If you are admitted to a Bar for a state other than the office where you are located, you must be eligible to practice or apply for admission waiter to that state's Bar within 6 months of hire.
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. 

  • Excellent legal research and analysis skills. 

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

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

  • Desire and ability to write for a variety of audiences, including the general public.  

  • Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to work with diverse constituencies both inside and outside the organization.  

  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

  • Comfort working with social science research and experts. 

  • A growth mindset that seeks and applies constructive feedback. 

  • Full-time work experience in any field prior to or during law school is a plus. 

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 >>LINK HERE<<.  Please upload the following documents: (1) a cover letter, (2) resume, (3) two writing samples (up to 10 pages), and (4) contact information for three references. If applicable, include internet hyperlinks to authored writing samples.     
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: with “Counsel, Elections and Government Program (Research & Policy)” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. 

Compensation and Benefits: 
This is a scaled position. The salary range assigned for the scale is $92,500 - $118,500 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 undergraduate 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.