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 and violence. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has been transformative—to achieve racial justice, the recognition of human dignity, equality, and an inclusive society.
LDF’s litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education programs in the substantive areas of political participation, criminal justice, economic justice, and education, seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, a fair and just judicial system, economic opportunity, and quality education.
LDF seeks a full-time Manager of the Redistricting Project to play a leadership and supervisory role managing a team of LDF attorneys, trainers, experts, and other program staff in connection with the upcoming congressional, state, and local apportionment and redistricting cycle that is expected to begin in 2021 and any subsequent litigation. The position is a two-year appointment, and it will involve extensive collaboration with LDF’s national, state, and local partners on voting rights related advocacy. The Manager will manage and otherwise have the opportunity to engage in advocacy to support LDF’s work to ensure a fair and non-discriminatory reapportionment and redistricting process. Therefore, applicants with backgrounds in the areas of voting rights litigation generally and/or apportionment and redistricting specifically are strongly preferred.
The Manager of the Redistricting Project will report to a senior LDF litigator and a senior member of the policy team, and also work closely with LDF attorneys and other staff in the Policy Department and Thurgood Marshall Institute, a multidisciplinary center within the LDF that engages in research and targeted advocacy campaigns.
This position will be remote until September 2021. Beginning October 2021, any candidate selected should be prepared to report to work in the office location assigned to this position.
- Manage, supervise, and work collaboratively with LDF litigation attorneys, policy counsel, trainers, fellows, and other staff to ensure that collectively LDF is identifying, developing, and seeking to implement via non-litigation and litigation advocacy fair and non-discriminatory apportionment and redistricting plans at the federal, state, and local levels, consistent with LDF’s substantive priorities and those of its partners;
- Manage, supervise, and ensure that LDF staff are identifying, developing, and seeking to implement fair and non-discriminatory apportionment and redistricting plans by:
- working with a diverse array of experts
- working collaboratively with national, state, and local partners wherever possible and consistent with LDF’s substantive priorities
- conducting policy, legal, and other forms of research to support the development of plans
- monitoring legislative bodies and responding to developing federal, state, and local proposed apportionment and redistricting plans to ensure fairness and non-discrimination
- identifying, securing, and preparing for opportunities for LDF to influence proposed apportionment and redistricting plans, as well as laying the foundation for any subsequent litigation, at the federal, state, and local levels, via comment on proposed plans and submission of statements, letters, and alternative plans, preparing advocacy materials, and participating in and/or organizing and conducting meetings with national, state, and local partners, including community-based, elected, and administrative officials and their staff
- drafting and delivering legislative testimony at the federal, state, and local levels
- participating in and/or organizing briefings with Members of Congress, state, and local legislators, and federal or state agency officials regarding proposed plans
- participating in and/or building national coalitions, partnerships, and task forces that strategize, work collaboratively, and advance fair and non-discriminatory apportionment and redistricting plans and otherwise are consistent with LDF’s priorities
- working collaboratively with LDF attorneys, trainers, and other staff to write, publish and widely disseminate fact sheets, talking points, infographics, letters, testimony, reports, and other documents that will educate community-based stakeholders, legislators, agency officials, and others about the requirement and/or need for fair and non-discriminatory apportionment and redistricting plans
- engaging in public speaking and trainings on issues related to apportionment and redistricting
- Identifying, facilitating, and ensuring that LDF staff have the necessary training and other resources (e.g., experts, research, data, etc.) to engage in the apportionment and redistricting process;
- Review and provide feedback on written and verbal work product developed for public dissemination, in coordination with senior members of the litigation and policy teams;
- Participate in select strategic meetings, conversations, task forces, and other discussions when necessary and in coordination with senior members of the litigation and policy teams;
- Identify issues for potential litigation with senior members of the litigation team;
- Collaborate with LDF Finance and Development staff on apportionment and redistricting budgets, grant and other reports, and other needs;
- Where feasible, engage directly in LDF’s apportionment and redistricting non-litigation and litigation advocacy in select jurisdiction(s);
- Other voting-related duties as requested by senior members of the litigation and policy teams;
- Travel to LDF target states and other jurisdictions, including in the South, pursuant to LDF”s COVID travel guidelines; and
- Other responsibilities as assigned.
- Juris Doctor degree;
- Minimum of 6 years (though 8 or more years is strongly preferred) of experience in civil litigation and/or policy experience at the federal, state, and/or local level, preferably in voting cases, which includes but is not limited to experience with building and preparing a complaint, engaging and partnering with clients and community groups, brief writing (trial and appellate level), preparing and responding to written discovery, preparing for and/or participating in depositions, preparing and participating in court conferences and arguments;
- Demonstrated commitment to LDF’s mission and a record of engagement with racial justice and civil rights;
- Demonstrated record of management experience;
- Member of the New York or D.C. Bar or eligible to waive in;
- Familiarity with the jurisprudence, statutes (like the Voting Rights Act), issues, and topics related to reapportionment and redistricting, particularly with respect to their impact on Black people and other communities of color, considered a plus but not required;
- A demonstrated ability to develop and manage strong relationships and partnerships with colleagues, coalitions of organizations, community members/leaders, public officials and others;
- Familiarity with diverse datasets from federal, state, and local agencies including the decennial Census, American Community Survey, voter files, and other related data, considered a plus but not required;
- Excellent analytical, research, organizational, and writing skills;
- Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts;
- Strong communication skills, i.e., clearly translate technical concepts for a non-technical audience; and
- Self-motivated and goal oriented with the ability to work independently and with a team.
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.
* * * * *
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.