Researcher, Justice Program
Breannan 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. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. 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 to reduce mass incarceration, while keeping the country safe. The program blends law, economics, and policy to produce new empirical analyses and craft innovative policy solutions to advance this critical goal.

Position: The Brennan Center seeks a junior or mid-level Researcher to provide primary research support for an ongoing project: a major fiscal impact study of court-imposed legal financial obligations in criminal justice matters. The Brennan Center team will assess the overall costs of collecting these fees and fines, compare those costs with revenues collected, and assess predictors of payment. The project is expected to span 2 years, and will involve conducting semi-structured surveys, managing and analyzing quantitative datasets using statistical software, and analyzing budgets in multiple counties in 3-5 states across the country. The Researcher will also participate in writing a major report detailing the findings of this study. The first year of the grant will largely entail data collection via phone interviews, occasional in-person visits, follow-up surveys, as well as conducting the fiscal impact study. In the second year, the team will focus on continuing the fiscal impact analysis and drafting the report.

The position requires significant travel and creative thinking to work with jurisdictions to examine their data and practices. The candidate must possess the ability to work well with government and nonprofit partners in jurisdictions to obtain and examine datasets, as well as qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis skills. The Researcher will work on a team led by a Senior Counsel and Criminologist.


  • With the guidance of the criminologist, conduct semi-structured interviews from government officials to collect data on collection of fees and fines.
  • Assist in the design and deployment of data collection instruments and surveys.
  • Draft reports, surveys, or other written materials for government stakeholders.
  • Clean, manage, and merge large administrative datasets.
  • Conduct descriptive and multivariate data analysis using Excel, STATA, or other data management/data analysis techniques.
  • Draft sections of final report, and assist with report rollout to media, government officials, and advocates.
  • Assist with fiscal impact analysis and other quantitative or qualitative analysis and research.
  • Arrange travel and administrative details for the team and the report.
  • Provide any other necessary assistance to project team.


An advanced degree in public policy, criminology, sociology, economics, or finance is preferred.
Candidates with a bachelor’s degree and 2+ years of full-time experience with budget analysis or conducting primary research will also be considered and are strongly encouraged to apply.
Work experience handling budgets, preferably government budgets.
Coursework and/or experience in qualitative interviewing.
Experience demonstrating creativity and tenacity in investigating and obtaining information and data.
Experience working with criminal justice and/or court data with spreadsheets and statistical database programs, such as STATA, Excel, or R.
Excellent written and oral communication skills and experience presenting research to diverse audiences.
Knowledge of criminal justice policy, particularly related to criminal courts, is preferred.
Ability to work well in a team and receive feedback from managers and senior leadership.
Willingness to travel outside New York City for site visits.
Attention to detail, excellent organizational skills, and ability to meet deadlines.

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

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

Applications: The Application deadline is June 1st 2016., but decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. To apply, please upload (where it says “attach resume”) as one document with the following application materials: cover letter, resume, two writing samples (up to 10 pages), and contact information for three references. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Justice Program Researcher” in the subject line.

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