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Senior Counsel, Voting Rights Program

$145,000- $185,800/ year
Posted May 05
Full Time
HybridNew York, New York

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

Our Voting Rights 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.  

Note: Brennan Center employees adhere to a hybrid schedule that is subject to change, with employees currently required to work in the office a minimum of three days per week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. While most employees follow this in-person schedule, there may be some positions that require additional in-office days. This position is intended to be based in New York City, but working out of our Washington, D.C. office may be possible depending on a candidate’s level of seniority and qualifications. It will require occasional 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. 

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

  • Write and speak for a general, non-legal audience, including speaking with news media, occasional opinion pieces, and public appearances. 

  • Contribute to team administration, including recruitment and hiring, and work with communications and development professionals. 

  • 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 Washington, D.C Bar, depending on office location. 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 waiver 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. 

  • A minimum of eight years’ legal work experience, including any clerkships. 

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 

  • Excellent legal research and analysis skills. 

  • Experience anticipating and handling the day-to-day needs of litigation or advocacy campaigns. 

  • Strong ability and desire to write for legal, policy, and public audiences. 

  • 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, or community-based groups in a legal or non-legal capacity. 

  • Experience managing specific cases and projects 

  • Comfort working with social science research and experts. 

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 supervisor 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 “Senior Counsel, Voting Rights Program” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.  

Compensation and Benefits:  
This is a scaled position. The salary assigned for the scale is $145,100 - $185,800 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 law 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.  If this role assumes supervisory responsibilities in the future, this position will no longer be in the union. However, the person in this role will be eligible for additional compensation in alignment with our compensation practices for counsel roles. 

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.   

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center

  • Welcomes applicants with disabilities and applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities, sexual orientations, and national origin or citizenship, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • Hires diverse candidates and works to improve our recruitment practices to allow for such
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and
  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.