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 currently seeks Fellows in the following areas:
Criminal Justice Fellow
The Criminal Justice Fellow will assist in the development and implementation of litigation and advocacy pertaining to (1) racially discriminatory law enforcement practices, (2) the use and application of the qualified immunity doctrine, (3) the death penalty and juvenile life without parole sentencing, (4) the use of algorithmic bias and predictive technologies in the criminal justice system, (5) the discriminatory use of peremptory challenges by prosecutors, (6) inhumane conditions of confinement in state or local correctional facilities, and/or (7) other harms from the criminal justice system in the Black community.
Economic Justice Fellow
The Economic Justice Fellow will assist in the development and implementation of litigation and advocacy to (1) challenge housing discrimination and policies that result in the loss of land and home ownership by African Americans, (2) promote mobility (transportation) for African-American communities, (3) ensure access to potable water and a clean, safe environment for residents in African-American urban and rural communities, (4) challenge employment discrimination and policies that result in barriers to employment for African Americans, and (5) address disparities in health care and environmental racism.
The Education Fellow will assist in the development and implementation of litigation and advocacy to (1) enforce existing school desegregation consent decrees, (2) ensure diversity and inclusion in K-12 and higher education, (3) combat discriminatory school discipline policies and practices, (4) secure universal access to quality public education, and/or (5) promote other education equity measures.
Political Participation Fellow
The Political Participation Fellow will assist in the development and implementation of litigation and advocacy to (1) challenge racially discriminatory voting laws, (2) prepare Black communities to vote and advocate for changes to election practices and procedures, (3) provide public education regarding a variety of federal, state and local level voting-related issues like voter suppression, the decennial census and redistricting, and the expansion of opportunities for pre-trial detained individuals and people with felony convictions to vote, and (4) assist with redistricting efforts. The Political Participation Fellow will report to a senior attorney in LDF’s litigation department.
These are two-year positions, and they will report to a senior attorney in LDF’s Litigation department.
All positions at LDF are remote until September 2021. Beginning October 2021, any candidate selected should be prepared to report to work in the office location assigned to them, New York, Washington, D.C. or Atlanta, GA.
· Research potential claims, prepare complaints, participate in motion practice, discovery, hearings and oral arguments, trials, and appeals;
· Assist in creating and implementing multi-pronged strategic plans for LDF’s work using litigation, organizing, public education, strategic research, legislation, and policy advocacy;
· Develop and maintain relationships with community partners, coalition members, lawyers and civil rights organizations, legal allies, and other advocates;
· Act as a resource for LDF’s policy team in devising and implementing strategies to advance LDF’s policy agenda related to criminal justice, economic justice, or education;
· Prepare policy reports, memoranda, briefing papers, and talking points for internal and external use on practice area issues;
· Represent LDF at conferences and in other venues;
· Travel as necessary; and
· Other responsibilities as assigned.
· A Juris Doctor degree;
· 2 to 4 years of litigation experience and admission to the Bars of New York or the District of Columbia (or eligibility to waive in), depending on the office location;
· A demonstrated commitment to racial justice, civil rights, and mission of LDF;
· Outstanding legal research, writing, and communication skills;
· Relevant litigation experience at the trial and/or appellate level;
· The ability to work both collaboratively and independently;
· Capacity to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues to a variety of audiences;
· A vision for attacking persistent barriers to full access and equality for Black people in the United States; and
· Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word and Excel).
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.
Please free to apply to more than one fellowship in a single application but be sure to indicate which fellowship(s) you are applying for.
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…