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, public policy advocacy 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 Counsel to join the litigation team. The Senior Counsel will strategize on a range of civil rights matters, and lead case teams across LDF’s litigation docket. The Senior Counsel will report to the Director of Litigation or a Deputy Director of Litigation.
Subject to LDF’s prior approval, this position may have the option to be remote until Friday, December 31, 2021. Beginning Monday, January 3, 2022, any candidate selected should be prepared to report to work in the office location assigned to this position.
Responsibilities may include:
· Litigating the full range of racial justice issues, including: educational opportunity, diversity, adequacy, access and retention; employment and housing discrimination; voting rights; and criminal justice;
· Developing, leading, supervising, consulting, and advising on complex, civil rights impact cases in federal and state courts and before administrative bodies;
· Drafting petitions for certiorari, merits briefs and amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court, other federal courts, and state courts that bear significantly on the civil rights of Black people;
· Investigating potential claims, preparing complaints, participating in motion practice, discovery, hearings and oral arguments, trials, and appeals;
· Devising and implementing strategies to support LDF’s policy team advance LDF’s policy agenda related to the substantive subject matter areas;
· Supervising, managing, and assisting litigation teams that include LDF staff attorneys, organizers, cooperating counsel, fellows, legal interns, and others from within and outside of LDF;
· Directly supervising legal fellows, research associates, legal interns, and/or administrative assistants;
· Serving as a public thought leader on issues confronting Black communities;
· Representing LDF in the media, at conferences, and in other public venues;
· Developing and maintaining relationships with community partners, coalition members, and legal allies;
· Assisting in creating and implementing multi-pronged strategic plans using litigation, organizing, public education, legislation and policy advocacy;
· Preparing policy reports, memoranda, briefing papers, public education materials, and talking points for internal and external use;
· Assisting LDF colleagues in developing skills in impact litigation and the other interdisciplinary advocacy strategies necessary to effect change;
· Fostering relationships with other advocates, lawyers, and civil rights organizations;
· Travel as necessary, when conditions permit; and
· Other responsibilities as assigned.
· Juris Doctor degree;
· Minimum of 10 years of litigation experience and admission to New York or Washington, D.C. Bar or eligible to waive in, based on the office location;
· Commitment to the racial justice mission of LDF and demonstrated commitment to advancing justice for people of color, and Black people in particular;
· Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
· Broad, relevant litigation experience at the trial and appellate level; experience litigating class action cases strongly preferred;
· Federal and/or state advocacy experience related to reform for communities of color;
· Effective public speaking experience;
· The ability to work both collaboratively and independently;
· Supervisory and case management experience with an interest in and commitment to the professional development, training and support of attorneys, legal interns and administrative staff;
· Capacity to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues to a variety of audiences; and
· A vision for attacking persistent barriers to full access and equality for people of color, and Black people in particular.
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.
Please note that LDF requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accordingly, successful candidates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit proof of vaccination prior to the commencement of employment, unless they qualify for a reasonable accommodation for bona fide medical or religious reasons.
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.
Human Resources Manager
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…