The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has been transformative–to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
LDF’s litigation, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education programs in the substantive areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system.
LDF seeks an experienced Senior Policy Counsel/Associate to join its policy team to advance its reform work in a full range of legislative and policy initiatives. A background in the areas of economic justice or education are preferred.
- Identify, develop, and implement legislative and policy reform strategies at the federal, state, and local levels, consistent with LDF’s substantive priorities;
- Conduct policy and other forms of research in LDF’s programmatic areas;
- Monitor and respond to developing civil rights issues in proposed federal, state and local legislation or agency action;
- Identify, secure and prepare for opportunities for LDF to influence legislation and policy at the federal level, including commenting on proposed legislation and rules, submitting statements and letters, preparing advocacy materials, and organizing and conducting meetings with elected and administrative officials and their staff;
- Draft and deliver legislative testimony at the federal, state, and local levels;
- Participate in and/or organize briefings with Members of Congress, state, and local legislators, and federal or state agency officials on LDF’s substantive priorities;
- Build and/or participate in national coalitions, partnerships and task forces working to advance political participation, education, economic justice, and criminal justice, or to oppose laws and policies that will undermine reform;
- Assume a leading and strategic role in national, state or local coalition campaigns on federal advocacy issues consistent with LDF’s priorities;
- Work collaboratively with LDF’s attorneys, organizers, and multidisciplinary teams to advance national, state and local reforms;
- Work collaboratively with LDF’s attorneys and researchers to write, publish and widely disseminate policy briefs, fact sheets, talking points, infographics, reports, and other documents that will educate legislators, agency officials, stakeholders, and the general public about the need for policy changes to address issues and propose solid recommendations for change;
- Other duties as requested by the Director of Policy, the Deputy Director of Policy, or other management personnel; and
- Other responsibilities as assigned.
- Juris Doctor degree (2010) or other advanced degree strongly preferred;
- Seven or more years of experience in policy reform or advocacy at the federal, state, or local level in the areas of either political participation, economic justice, education or criminal justice;
- Member of the DC Bar or eligible to waive in;
- Excellent research, writing and public speaking skills;
- A demonstrated commitment to civil rights and racial justice;
- Experience in the areas of Fair Housing and Lending or Education considered a plus but not required;
- A demonstrated ability to develop and manage strong relationships and partnerships with coalitions of organizations, community members/leaders, and public officials;
- A demonstrated ability to think and plan strategically, including an ability to lead and manage complex policy reform efforts involving multiple issues and parties;
- Ability to work independently and on teams; and
- Ability to travel.