NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Law & Policy Fellow (New York)

October 19, 2017

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NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

Law & Policy Fellow

New York

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (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 African-American 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 always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.

LDF’s litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education programs seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to: (1) a quality education, (2) economic opportunity, (3) full participation in our democracy, and (4) a fair and just judicial system.

Essential to LDF’s mission is the capacity to mobilize quickly in response to high-profile events implicating racial justice in these four core practice areas to help real people in real time.

Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s seventh President and Director-Counsel, oversees LDF’s litigation, policy advocacy, public education, and rapid response programs in all of these areas.  She is also regularly invited to present LDF’s perspective on major legal and policy developments, as well as newsworthy events concerning civil rights, in a variety of forums.  LDF seeks a highly-qualified Law & Policy Fellow to assist the President and Director-Counsel develop litigation, policy, communications, and public education strategies concerning LDF’s core practice areas, with particular emphasis on expanding LDF’s rapid response capability. 

This is a one-year fellowship, which may be renewable at the end of the year. 



  • Communicate regularly with the President and Director-Counsel about LDF’s strategic priorities for the full range of racial justice issues on which LDF works, including educational opportunities; employment and housing discrimination; voting rights; and criminal justice;
  • Identify and assist rapid response efforts, including research, outreach, and travel;
  • Provide legal research and analysis to assist LDF develop strategies for responding to high-profile events that implicate racial justice and civil rights;
  • Work with LDF’s litigation, policy, communications, and community organizer teams to provide immediate, strategic assistance to communities affected by civil rights violations;
  • Work with the legal and communications staffs to develop litigation, policy, and public education strategies based on emerging issues and events;
  • Assist the President and Director-Counsel prepare for testimony before legislative and administrative bodies, press interviews, and public speaking engagements;
  • Prepare policy reports, memoranda, briefing papers, and talking points for internal and external use;
  • Travel as necessary. 



The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • A J.D. degree, with 3-5 years of litigation or policy experience and admission to the New York bar (or eligibility to wave in);
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and civil rights;
  • Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
  • Ability to respond rapidly to breaking developments affecting the clients and communities LDF serves;
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently;
  • Capacity to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues to a variety of audiences.


To Apply:

Please submit your resume and cover letter to: 


Monica Garcia

Director of Human Resources/Administration
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
40 Rector Street, 5th floor
New York, New York 10006


The NAACP Legal Defense Fund 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, disability or genetic information.