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.
Since its inception, LDF has utilized the tools of litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education to advance educational equity across the country. A substantial part of this advocacy involves school desegregation litigation, especially in the South, to enforce the United States Supreme Court’s Equal Protection mandate in Brown v. Board of Education and its progeny.
LDF seeks an Education Special Counsel, based in the South, for a two-year term, with the possibility of renewal, to assist the litigation of its school desegregation cases. Although the Education Special Counsel will ideally work remotely from a base in the South, the Counsel will be supervised by senior attorneys based in LDF’s New York headquarters. This position will involve substantial travel to, and community outreach and engagement in, jurisdictions with active desegregation cases, likely including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia.
• Assist the litigation of school desegregation cases as appropriate, potentially including discovery, motion practice, court conferences, settlement negotiations, expert reports, and evidentiary hearings;
• Monitor active school desegregation cases, including information requests from districts, analyzing that information, and conducting site visits;
• Investigate areas of concern in educational matters for Black parents and children within the relevant jurisdiction(s);
• Conduct public outreach to Black communities about their local public school systems;
• Develop and maintain relationships with clients, class members, and local community partners and allies;
• Oversee work conducted by retained experts, investigators, outreach coordinators, and/or other consultants, as applicable;
• Work collaboratively with LDF staff and local counsel;
• Serve as a resource for LDF staff on school desegregation matters, including without limitation development of best practices in school desegregation litigation;
• Regularly update LDF management team on school desegregation cases;
• Travel frequently as consistent with case needs.
The ideal candidate will possess the following:
• A J.D. degree, with at least 3-5 years of litigation experience
• Admission to the state bar where the attorney resides and eligibility to waive into other jurisdictions, as needed;
• Substantial experience litigating or monitoring school desegregation cases preferred, but not necessary if the candidate has sufficient experience in federal litigation and an interest in learning this area of law;
• A demonstrated commitment to racial justice, civil rights, and/or educational equity;
• Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
• Broad, relevant litigation experience, especially at the trial level;
• Federal and/or state advocacy experience relating to issues affecting communities of color;
• Effective public speaking experience;
• Able to work both collaboratively and independently;
• Capacity to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues to a variety of audiences.
* * * * *
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.