Voting Rights Counsel

  • The Brennan Center for Justice
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Mar 07, 2021
Full time Legal Nonprofit-Social Services Research

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. The Brennan Center’s work ranges from voting rights to census protection, from ending mass incarceration to preserving constitutional protections in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part law firm, part advocacy group, and part communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them—in the courts, in Congress and the states, and the court of public opinion.


The Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program seeks a talented attorney to join our team working to build a robust, participatory, and inclusive democracy. The attorney’s focus will be to combat voter suppression and advance pro-voter reforms at the state and federal levels.

Our Voting Rights and Elections Program advocates for free, fair, and accessible elections, with special focus on the ways systemic barriers impede electoral participation by communities of color. The past ten years have seen a renewed brazen and widespread assault on the right to vote. Elected officials at the highest levels have deployed disinformation and misinformation to scapegoat communities trying to assert their rightful place in the electorate. And the Capitol attack made plain that some are even prepared to reject the use of elections as the arena to contest political differences. We meet these challenges, and others, head on. We do so with partners ranging from community-based organizations to election administrators to pro bono counsel.

The Brennan Center’s methods include legal and empirical research and writing, litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, media and communications, and public education. This position will be based at our headquarters in New York City and will require travel.

Responsibilities Include

  • Conduct legal and factual research and public writing in support of policy advocacy, legislative reform, and communications initiatives.
  • Help to advance policy reforms, often in collaboration with coalition partners.
  • Write and speak for a general, non-legal audience, including occasional opinion pieces and public appearances.
  • Participate in impact litigation, including research, brief writing, and strategy development, with team members, allied organizations, and/or pro bono law firm counsel.
  • Contribute to team administration, including recruitment and hiring, and work with communications and development professionals.
  • Commensurate with experience, supervise and mentor attorneys, legal interns, and/or program associates.


Required. The position requires a J.D. and admission to the New York State Bar (or admission within six months of being hired).

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.

  • A minimum of three years’ legal work experience, including any clerkships.
  • Experience anticipating and handling the day-to-day needs of litigation or policy advocacy campaigns.
  • Strong ability and desire to write for legal, policy, and public audiences.
  • Excellent legal research and analysis skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Familiarity with administrative law, civil rights law, and/or federal civil litigation.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and sound judgment, including the ability to work with diverse constituencies both inside and outside the organization.
  • A commitment to racial equity.
  • Experience working with civil rights, immigrant rights, or good government organizations in a legal or non-legal capacity.
  • Experience working on public advocacy campaigns.
  • Comfort working with social science research and experts.

Salary: The salary is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience, set according to a published scale. A generous benefits package is provided as well.

Applications: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with the position to be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. To apply, please visit and upload (in pdf) the following application materials: cover letter; resume; two writing samples (up to 10 pages each); and contact information for three references. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with "Voting Rights Counsel" in the subject line, after registering in the online system.  Applying through our system is STRONGLY preferred.