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.
Since its inception, LDF has utilized the tools of litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education to advance educational equity across the country. A substantial part of this advocacy involves school desegregation litigation, especially in the South, to enforce the United States Supreme Court’s Equal Protection mandate in Brown v. Board of Education and its progeny.
LDF seeks an Education Special Counsel, based in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, or Mississippi, for a two- year term, with the possibility of renewal, to assist the litigation of its school desegregation cases. Although the Education Special Counsel will work remotely from a base in the South, the Counsel will be supervised by senior attorneys based in LDF’s New York and Washington, D.C. headquarters. LDF’s office in Atlanta is forthcoming in Fall 2021, at which time the Education Special Counsel should be prepared to report periodically to the Atlanta office, with a preference for a permanent assignment to that office. This position will involve substantial travel to, and community outreach and engagement in, jurisdictions with active desegregation cases, likely including Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, once the COVID-19 pandemic sufficiently subsides.
Responsibilities may include:
· Assist the litigation of school desegregation cases as appropriate, potentially including discovery, motion practice, court conferences, settlement negotiations, expert reports, and evidentiary hearings;
· Monitor active school desegregation cases, including information requests from districts, analyzing that information, and conducting site visits;
· Investigate areas of concern in educational matters for Black parents and children within the relevant jurisdiction(s);
· Conduct public outreach to Black communities about their local public school systems;
· Develop and maintain relationships with clients, class members, and local community partners and allies;
· Oversee work conducted by retained experts, investigators, outreach coordinators, and/or other consultants, as applicable;
· Work collaboratively with LDF staff and local counsel;
· Serve as a resource for LDF staff on school desegregation matters, including without limitation development of best practices in school desegregation litigation;
· Regularly update LDF management team on school desegregation cases;
· Travel frequently, as consistent with case needs, when the COVID-19 pandemic sufficiently subsides; and
· Other responsibilities as assigned.
· Juris Doctor degree;
· Minimum of 3 years of litigation experience;
· A demonstrated commitment to racial justice, civil rights, and/or educational equity;
· Admission to the state bar where the attorney resides and eligibility to waive into other jurisdictions, as needed;
· Substantial experience litigating or monitoring school desegregation cases preferred, but not necessary if the candidate has sufficient experience in federal litigation and an interest in learning this area of law;
· Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
· Broad, relevant litigation experience, especially at the trial level;
· Federal and/or state advocacy experience relating to issues affecting communities of color;
· Effective public speaking experience;
· Able to work both collaboratively and independently; and
· Capacity to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues to a variety of audiences.
This is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts or requirements or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned. This description does not constitute a contract of employment and LDF may exercise its employment-at-will rights at any time.
This position is open until filled.
Please submit your resume and cover letter to:
If submitting via email, please include your name (last name, first name) in the email subject line.
Director of Human Resources/Administration
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
40 Rector Street, 5th floor
New York, New York 10006
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to you without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, medical condition or disability, genetic information, gender identity, or any other protected status under federal, state, or local law.
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…