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Research & Program Associate

Washington DC

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Brennan Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protections 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, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion.


The Brennan Center seeks a full-time Research & Program Associate to work in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, in our Washington, DC office. This position will report directly to attorneys in the D,C, office. The position’s likely focus will be campaign finance, voting, ethics, and rule of law issues.

Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting legal and factual research and data analysis. 
  • Drafting and editing publications, reports, newsletters, testimony, blog posts, and other public communications. 
  • Performing a wide range of administrative, database, paralegal support, and program management tasks, including (but not limited to) making travel arrangements, copy-editing, and checking citations. 
  • Organizing and staffing program and Center events. 
  • Working with attorneys, fellows, communications and development professionals, editors, allies, clients, other research and program associates, and organizational leadership. 
  • Scheduling and, where appropriate, attending meetings on Capitol Hill and with other parts of the government. 
  • A significant portion of the Research & Program Associate’s time may be spent on administrative tasks, depending on program priorities.

Qualifications--The ideal candidate will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree (this is an entry level position; lawyers and individuals with advanced degrees will not be considered). 
  • Exceptional writing skills and excellent analytic, strategic, research and organizational skills. 
  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the work of the Center. 
  • The ability to work effectively in a team-based and deadline-driven environment. 
  • Openness to receiving and implementing constructive feedback. 
  • Creativity in ferreting out information. 
  • Ease working with data and statistics; experience with Excel helpful but not required. 
  • Strong communications skills and confidence to reach out to allies, public officials, reporters, and members of the public. 
  • Fluency in a foreign language, such as Spanish, helpful but not required.

Salary: $45,000-$55,500, commensurate with years of experience. Overtime (compensated at 1½ times the regular hourly rate) may be required before deadlines. Excellent benefits package. For more information about the Brennan Center, visit our website:

Applications: Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. Applications are due on or before February 17, 2019. The anticipated start date for this position is after the Memorial Day holiday (with some flexibility as to an earlier or later start date). A firm two-year commitment is required. Please visit and upload (where it says “attach resume”) the following application materials: cover letter (copy and paste where indicated), resume, writing sample (up to 10 pages), and contact information for three academic or professional references. Applicants are free to submit applications to both the New York and DC RPA positions, but please indicate in your cover letter if you have applied for both.

Please include Internet hyperlinks to writing samples where available. If you have difficulty with the online system, contact us by e-mail at: with “Democracy Research & Program Associate, DC” in the subject line. No phone calls or faxes please.

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center 

  • Hires staff that reflects this country's full range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic identities;  
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged;  
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and  
  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.

Posted December 21, 2018

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