Justice Program Attorney
Brennan Center for Justice

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection 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 Justice Program seeks to secure our nation’s promise of “equal justice for all” by creating a rational, effective, and fair justice system. Its priority focus is working to end mass incarceration while keeping the country safe. The program blends law, policy, and social science to produce new empirical analysis and innovative policy solutions to advance this critical goal.


The Brennan Center’s Justice Program is seeking an attorney to join a cutting edge inter-disciplinary team working to end mass incarceration in the United States. This work takes place at a time of significant opportunity: there is wide support across partisan lines for meaningful reform to reduce the nation’s overreliance on prisons. The Attorney’s main responsibility will be to supervise and lead a staff team on a major Brennan Center project: a fiscal impact study of the fees and fines levied on criminal justice defendants. The project team will assess the overall costs of collecting these fees and compare them with revenues in several jurisdictions to ascertain whether this practice is an effective policy. The project will last two years and six months (through April 2019). The Attorney will be responsible for managing the entire project from start to finish. The first year will entail supervising the research team which will collect data, conduct research, and complete a fiscal impact analysis. The second year will involve writing the report, taking strategic direction and edits from senior leadership, and managing a successful rollout to the media and key stakeholders. The Attorney will supervise team members, including a senior fellow, researcher, and junior researcher, to ensure successful completion of the project.


-Manage the project from start to completion, including setting benchmarks, ensuring deadlines are met with high quality work product, supervising a project team of quantitative researchers and junior staff, and managing relationships with senior Brennan Center staff and state and county officials.
-Oversee project research — including, reviewing research plans, methodology, and results; measuring progress toward goals; overseeing collection and analysis of data, and ensuring fiscal analysis of data is completed.
-Accompany researchers on site visits to states to collect data (approximately 8 trips).
-Write report with findings, incorporating feedback and edits from various internal and external constituencies resulting in a final draft.
-Manage rollout of report, including writing op-eds, managing distribution to high-level stakeholders, presenting report at conferences, and speaking to the media.


-A J.D. degree plus 4-8 years of legal experience in a law firm, public policy, government, nonprofit, or private-sector organization. Law firm experience preferred.
-At least 2 years of experience directly managing staff. Experience managing projects and teams, including the ability to set benchmarks, ensure deadlines are met, supervise a project team of quantitative researchers, and manage relationships with state and county officials.
-Top notch writing skills, including experience in report drafting, researching, fact-checking, incorporating feedback and edits, and managing report writing and editing process from start to finish.
-A comfort with numbers, statistics, and basic fiscal concepts; and strong analytical, strategic, and research skills. Experience with statistics or a degree in social science is a plus.
-Basic knowledge of criminal justice system.
-Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, willingness to work overtime to meet deadlines, self-reliance, and strong work ethic.
-Willingness to travel for on-site visits across the country to collect data, and to work overtime near deadlines.

This position will last 2 years and 6 months, to start November/December 2016 and end April 30, 2019.

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

Applications: The application deadline is November 30, 2016, but immediate hiring is preferable and applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. Please upload (where it says “attach resume”) 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: brennancenterjobs@nyu.edu with “Justice Attorney” in the subject line.

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