Joshua Civin has been Counsel to the Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) since 2011. He rejoined LDF’s office in Washington, DC, in 2009, after serving as an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow in 2004-2005 and as an intern during law school. Josh plays a critical role in LDF’s appellate and Supreme Court practice, while maintaining an active trial-level litigation docket primarily in matters involving educational equity and economic justice.
Among other recent activities, Josh has helped lead LDF’s work in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (UT) , supporting UT’s race-conscious undergraduate admissions policy designed to achieve the educational benefits of diversity for all students. In Fisher, Josh successfully presented oral argument on behalf of LDF and the UT Black Student Alliance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and filed friend-of-the-court briefs at every stage of this litigation, including in the U.S. Supreme Court, where the case is currently pending. In Thompson v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development , Josh spearheaded the successful negotiation and implementation of an innovative settlement to a long-running fair housing class action, which sought to eradicate the legacy of government-sponsored segregation in the Baltimore metropolitan region. And in Lewis v. City of Chicago , Josh was a key part of the legal team that obtained unanimous rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, on remand, in favor of a class of more than 6,000 qualified African-American firefighter applicants unfairly denied the opportunity to work for the Chicago Fire Department.
Prior to rejoining LDF, Josh worked at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) from 2006 to 2009, representing public school districts, colleges, universities, and other education institutions in federal and state courts and before the U.S. Department of Education and other government agencies. Josh graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, studied history at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, received a J.D. from Yale Law School, and served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court.
From 1994 through 1997, Josh served on New Haven, Connecticut’s Board of Aldermen, where he sponsored legislation to reform municipal homeless policy and ensure livable wages for workers employed by city contractors. Josh is currently president of the board of directors of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Inc. (CPHA), one of the premier civic action organizations in Baltimore, Maryland, where he grew up and now lives.