New Counsel Position in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program
Brennan Center's Justice Program

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 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, 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 tackling racial disparities and economic injustice, promoting a dignity-centered approach to crime and punishment, and creating a rational, effective, and fair justice system. Its priority focus is to reform the criminal legal system to unwind, and alleviate the harms of, mass incarceration. The program melds law, policy, and economics to produce new empirical analyses and innovative policy solutions to advance this critical goal.


Position Summary:

The Brennan Center is seeking an attorney to join the Justice Program and help build a research and policy agenda to reduce the footprint of mass incarceration in the United States. The attorney will focus on research and drafting for issue briefs that analyze specific subjects in depth, and will also contribute to the Center’s major research reports. Additionally, the attorney will provide legal and drafting support to advance the Center’s advocacy efforts at the state, local, and federal levels.

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



  • Assist senior staff members in researching, developing, and co-authoring reports and policy proposals for a wide variety of audiences – legal, legislative, media, and public.
  • Help senior staff generate new project ideas by researching and drafting concept papers and funding proposals.
  • Manage development and implementation of projects, as assigned.
  • Work on policy advocacy, sometimes by working in coalitions, to change policies and laws at the local, state, and federal level


Qualifications – The ideal candidate will have:

  • J.D. degree plus 3 or more years of work experience in law, policy, politics, government, or the private sector.
  • A commitment to racial equity.
  • Experience writing policy analyses or public-facing research reports. Experience writing legislative and executive agency testimony, comment letters, or other legal analyses a plus.
  • Strong analytic, strategic, and research skills.
  • Demonstrated creativity and the ability to develop new ideas.
  • Exemplary writing skills, specifically an ability to succinctly translate complex legal concepts and empirical data into accessible prose that can be understood by non-expert audiences.
  • Ability to multitask, pay attention to detail, work under pressure, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Self-starter who is eager to work in a team-based environment and is open to feedback from colleagues at all levels of experience.

The Brennan Center, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and applicants who have been previously incarcerated.

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 (as a pdf and as one document preferably) 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 “Counsel, Justice Program” in the subject line, after registering in the online system.


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 and hires applicants of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, socioeconomic identities and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated;
  • 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.

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