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, policy advocacy, organizing, 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 judicial system.

Equal Protection Initiative is a new initiative housed within the Strategic Initiatives Department, aimed at fully realizing the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal protection under law by safeguarding, expanding, and deepening efforts to remove and remediate barriers to opportunity for Black people in the economy, our educational systems, and other areas through race-conscious and race-neutral means. Since its founding, LDF and has been a leader in the decades-long struggle for equal educational and economic opportunities, from its early efforts to desegregate K-12 schools, colleges, and universities and equalize workplaces throughout the Jim Crow South to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and ongoing enforcement of that historic legislation. Through litigation and policymaking, LDF has endeavored to dismantle segregation and break down barriers to opportunity in education, housing, employment, and other areas that shape the ability of Black people to thrive and reach their full potential. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s devastating June 29, 2023, decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, EPI seeks to defend and advance the proper interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause and anti-discrimination law to ensure that Black people and other people of color can turn to our judicial system to champion their equality.

As of March 7, 2022, LDF transitioned to a hybrid work environment. Any candidate selected for this position should be prepared to work in the office location assigned at least two days per week.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist with both litigation and non-litigation advocacy to safeguard, expand, and deepen race-conscious and race-neutral means to remove and remediate barriers to opportunity for Black people in the economy, our educational systems, and other areas;
  • Conduct legal and factual research in the areas of racial justice, equal protection, civil rights, educational equity, economic justice, health equity, and the First Amendment;  
  • Assist with building and/or participating in national, state, and local coalitions, partnerships, and task forces working to advance race-conscious and race-neutral means of removing and remediating barriers that deny Black people equal opportunities;
  • Work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams of LDF attorneys, organizers, policy advocates, communications specialists, and researchers to advance national, state, and/or local efforts to advance race-conscious and race-neutral means to remove and remediate barriers of opportunity for Black people;
  • Work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams of LDF attorneys, organizers, policy advocates, communications specialists, and researchers to write, publish, and widely disseminate research and policy briefs, fact sheets, talking points, infographics, reports, and other documents that will educate target audiences, including legislators, agency officials, stakeholders, and the general public about efforts to advance race-conscious and race-neutral means to remove and remediate barriers of opportunity for Black people and propose solid recommendations for change;
  • Speak to media and the public regarding the Equal Protection Initiative’s work and mission; and
  • Other duties as requested by the Managers of the Equal Protection Initiative, the Director of Strategic Initiatives, or other members of LDF’s Senior Leadership Team.

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • Juris Doctor degree;
  • Four or more years of experience in litigation and/or policy reform or advocacy at the federal, state, or local level in the area of racial justice, equal protection, civil rights, educational equity, economic justice, health equity, and/or the First Amendment;
  • Excellent research, writing, and public speaking skills;
  • Experience working with communities and/or individuals directly impacted by racially discriminatory educational and/or economic systems;
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil rights and racial justice;
  • A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and think and plan strategically, including an ability to lead and manage complex litigation, advocacy, and policy reform efforts involving multiple issues and parties;
  • A demonstrated ability to work independently and on teams; and
  • Ability to travel regularly.

This is not 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.

Please note that LDF requires all employees to be fully vaccinated, including a booster shot against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accordingly, successful candidates must be fully vaccinated, including the booster shot against COVID-19, and submit proof of vaccination prior to the commencement of employment unless they qualify for a reasonable accommodation for bona fide medical or religious reasons.

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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.

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