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 Redistricting Counsel to join its team and work with other LDF attorneys, experts, and national, state, and local partners on voting rights related advocacy, with a special focus on the upcoming congressional, state, and local apportionment and redistricting cycle that is expected to begin in 2021 and any subsequent litigation. The Redistricting Counsel will support LDF’s work to ensure a fair and non-discriminatory reapportionment and redistricting process. Applicants with backgrounds in the areas of voting rights litigation generally and/or apportionment and redistricting specifically are strongly preferred. Depending on workload, the Redistricting Counsel will also work on other voting rights advocacy and litigation matters. The position is a two-year appointment.
The Redistricting Counsel will report to a senior LDF litigator, while also working closely with staff from LDF’s policy team and LDF’s 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.
- Identify, develop, and seek 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;
- Work with experts—who develop maps, conduct quantitative analyses of voting patterns, and provide other analyses—including by reviewing, critiquing, and driving the direction of expert analyses, reports, and testimony for non-litigation and litigation advocacy;
- Work collaboratively with national, state, and local partners wherever possible and consistent with LDF’s substantive priorities;
- Conduct policy, legal, and other forms of research to support the development of fair and non-discriminatory apportionment and redistricting plans;
- Monitor legislative bodies and respond to developing federal, state, and local proposed apportionment and redistricting plans to ensure fairness and non-discrimination;
- Identify, secure, and prepare for opportunities for LDF to influence proposed apportionment and redistricting plans, as well as develop the record for any subsequent litigation at the federal, state, and local levels, including commenting on proposed plans, submitting 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;
- Draft and deliver legislative testimony at the federal, state, and local levels;
- Participate in and/or organize briefings with Members of Congress, state, and local legislators, and federal or state agency officials regarding proposed plans;
- Participate in and/or build national coalitions, partnerships, and task forces, working to strategize, engage collaboratively, and advance fair and non-discriminatory apportionment and redistricting plans and otherwise be consistent with LDF’s priorities;
- Work collaboratively with LDF’s 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;
- Engage in public speaking and trainings on issues related to apportionment and redistricting;
- Travel to LDF’s 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 3 years of experience in civil litigation 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 clients, brief writing (trial and appellate level), and preparing and responding to written discovery, preparing for and/or participating in depositions, etc.;
- Demonstrated commitment to LDF’s mission and a record of engagement with racial justice and civil rights;
- Member of the New York or D.C. Bar or eligible to waive in;
- Familiarity with the jurisprudence, statutes (e.g., 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 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, and writing skills;
- Strong communication skills, including the ability to clearly translate technical concepts for a non-technical audience;
- Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts; 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.
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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.