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 criminal justice system.
LDF seeks an experienced attorney to join our policing reforming litigation team. This attorney will work with LDF attorneys investigating and litigating cases and matters involving police misconduct, including with respect to racial discrimination, excessive force, unconstitutional seizures, and mistreatment of protesters.
- Litigating a broad range of cases challenging police misconduct and/or seeking structural police reform with a racial justice lens, including both pattern-and-practice and individual cases involving claims of racial discrimination, excessive force, unconstitutional seizures, and mistreatment of protesters;
- Leading investigations into new matters concerning claims of police misconduct and/or structural reform that advance racial equity in the criminal justice system;
- Consulting and advising on cases and matters involving policing reform in both state and federal courts, including an analysis of possibilities for intervention as appropriate;
- Developing strategies and participating in working groups and external conferences designed to address law reforms to ensure police accountability and racial equity in law enforcement policies and practices, including the reform and/or abolition of qualified immunity and scrutiny of policing technology;
- Investigating potential claims, building relationships with key community partners, preparing complaints, participating in motion practice, discovery, hearings and oral arguments, trials and appeals;
- Devising and implementing strategies to advance LDF’s racial equity policy agenda related to police accountability and reform;
- Helping, supervising, and managing litigation teams that include LDF staff attorneys, organizers, cooperating counsel, fellows, legal interns, and others from within and outside of LDF;
- Serving as a public thought leader on issues concerning police violence and other systemic inequities regarding law enforcement in 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 advocacy strategy using litigation, organizing, public education, legislation and policy;
- Collaborating with LDF leadership, litigation attorneys, organizers and policy staff to coordinate police reform litigation with grassroots movements and movement partners;
- 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 transformative change and reform in furtherance of racial equity;
- Fostering relationships with other advocates, lawyers and civil rights organizations;
- Travel as necessary, when conditions permit;
- Other responsibilities as assigned.
- A J.D. degree with at least 7 years of litigation experience and admission to the New York or District of Columbia Bar (or eligibility to waive in), including significant experience with Section 1983 litigation against law enforcement agencies and related advocacy challenging law enforcement policies and practices;
- A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and civil rights;
- Experience working with grassroots organizations and community partners, especially in advocacy involving litigation;
- Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
- Federal and/or state advocacy experience relating to issues affecting communities of color;
- Effective public speaking experience;
- Able 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.
This is not necessarily 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.
* * * * *
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.