LDF is the nation’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. A non-profit organization, LDF uses all forms of advocacy, including litigation, policy, and public education to challenge racial discrimination on behalf of African Americans and to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, participation in democracy, and a fair and just criminal justice system.

Since its founding under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall in 1940, LDF has been committed to transforming this nation’s promise of equality into reality for all Americans.

In 2015, LDF celebrated its 75th anniversary with the launch of the Thurgood Marshall Institute. The Thurgood Marshall Institute is a collaborative hub within LDF that combines a multidisciplinary approach to advocacy with LDF’s traditional litigation strengths to advance a modern vision of racial justice. The Institute’s goals are to enhance LDF’s use and mobilization of research toincrease its capacity to fight for racial equity, justice, and a more inclusive democracy through targeted advocacy and high impact communications campaigns.

Through the Thurgood Marshall Institute, LDF generates and integrates innovative research, advocacy, archival materials, and strategic communications aimed at educating the public and key decision makers. This added capacity will leverage LDF’s litigation expertise, advocacy experience and unique leadership role on matters of race, law, and policy to shape the narrative on racial justice and equity. Through targeted campaigns that attack entrenched problems of racial bias, the LDF Thurgood Marshall Institute will advance holistic strategies to achieve obtainable and lasting solutions on issues of criminal justice, political participation, education and economic opportunity. In addition, the Institute serves as an active convener of thought-leaders from various disciplines to engage on cutting edge issues of racial justice in both public and private fora.

LDF seeks an experienced, dynamic and innovative person to serve as a Policy and Research Associate for LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute, including providing direct research and administrative support to its policy and litigation counsel.


The TMI Research and Operations Associate will assist LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute in advancing LDF’s strategic priorities in the Institute, as well as its broader legal program and institutional goals, including, but not limited to the following:

• Work with the TMI Director and Managers to coordinate and provide operations support for the Institute’s activities, including its advocacy campaigns, events and convenings, archives, and publications.
• Conduct background and investigative research on issues consistent with LDF program areas and goals, including collecting, compiling and analyzing statistical and other information from public and private sources and special and general long- and short-term research projects;
• Monitor legal developments on civil rights issues;
• Prepare for, and participate in internal and external calls, meetings, conferences, and other convenings of the Institute;
• Assist in preparing written advocacy materials, including testimony, letters, comments, or other materials submitted to legislative bodies or public agencies;
• Assist in summarizing legislative and policy work for reporting purposes, website, and external use;
• Develop educational materials for distribution to state and local allies in furtherance of LDF’s policy agenda;
• Conduct outreach to regional, state and local leaders around particular advocacy issues;
• Engage in on-the-ground coalition work to promote legislative and policy advocacy agenda;
• Assist in preparing for meetings or briefings with members of legislative bodies or governmental agencies;
• Organize materials for speaking engagements, seminars, symposia, and conferences, and assist in preparation of institutional statements, remarks or speeches.


The ideal candidate for this position is highly motivated, committed to civil rights and racial justice, and possesses:

• outstanding research and writing skills;
• excellent communication skills;
• excellent analytical skills including comfort with analyzing complex issues and familiarity with interpreting data;
• excellent organizational skills;
• excellent computer skills; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Westlaw, Lexis, Pacer, ECF and familiarity with database systems a plus;
• experience with federal court litigation and trial preparation;
• strong initiative;
• an ability to work both collaboratively and independently;
• well-developed interpersonal skills;
• willingness to learn and develop new skills and expertise;
• accuracy and attention to detail;
• ability to work in a fast-paced, highly-stressful environment;
• ability to prioritize workload;
• ability to complete tasks accurately and in a timely manner;
• willingness to work overtime, including occasionally on weekends;
• willingness to travel;
• two years of advocacy or paralegal or equivalent work experience;
• college degree

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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.