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, public policy advocacy 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. LDF continues to make an impact in the area of public service and was recognized by Fast Company as one of its 2023 Brands That Matter under its public service category.

LDF seeks an experienced Senior Policy Counsel/Associate to join its policy team to advance its reform work in a full range of legislative and policy initiatives. A background in the areas of economic justice or education are preferred. 

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:

  • Identify, develop, and implement legislative and policy reform strategies at the federal, state, and local levels, consistent with LDF’s substantive priorities;
  • Conduct policy and other forms of research in LDF’s programmatic areas;
  • Monitor and respond to developing civil rights issues in proposed federal, state and local legislation or agency action;
  • Identify, secure and prepare for opportunities for LDF to influence legislation and policy at the federal level, including commenting on proposed legislation and rules, submitting statements and letters, preparing advocacy materials, and organizing and conducting meetings with 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 on LDF’s substantive priorities;
  • Build and/or participate in national coalitions, partnerships and task forces working to advance political participation, education, economic justice, and criminal justice, or to oppose laws and policies that will undermine reform;
  • Assume a leading and strategic role in national, state or local coalition campaigns on federal advocacy issues consistent with LDF’s priorities;
  • Work collaboratively with LDF’s attorneys, organizers, and multidisciplinary teams to advance national, state and local reforms;
  • Work collaboratively with LDF’s attorneys and researchers to write, publish and widely disseminate policy briefs, fact sheets, talking points, infographics, reports, and other documents that will educate legislators, agency officials, stakeholders, and the general public about the need for policy changes to address issues and propose solid recommendations for change;
  • Other duties as requested by the Director of Policy, the Deputy Director of Policy, or other management personnel; and
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctor degree (2010) or other advanced degree strongly preferred;
  • Seven or more years of experience in policy reform or advocacy at the federal, state, or local level in the areas of either political participation, economic justice, education or criminal justice;
  • Member of the DC Bar or eligible to waive in;
  • Excellent research, writing and public speaking skills;
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil rights and racial justice;
  • Experience in the areas of Fair Housing and Lending or Education considered a plus but not required;
  • A demonstrated ability to develop and manage strong relationships and partnerships with coalitions of organizations, community members/leaders, and public officials;
  • A demonstrated ability to think and plan strategically, including an ability to lead and manage complex policy reform efforts involving multiple issues and parties;
  • Ability to work independently and on teams; and
  • Ability to travel.

LDF offers a rich platform of benefits including medical (Empire), dental (Cigna), vision (NVA), flexible spending accounts (Flex Facts), transit/commuter plan, life insurance, AD&D, voluntary life & AD&D (UNUM), AFLAC, Employee Assistance Plan, and Health Advocate.  As well as the many healthcare benefits, LDF offers a 403b plan with employer match, and a robust vacation, sick, and personal time program to ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance.

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 against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accordingly, successful candidates must be fully vaccinated 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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