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.

About Our State Voting Rights Act Work

For more than eight decades, LDF has prioritized protecting and advancing voting rights for Black Americans.  Since 2001, we have focused on advocacy for State Voting Rights Acts (State VRAs) as our top affirmative state-level voting rights priority.  These laws take the best parts of the federal Voting Rights Act and adapt them to local needs.  LDF and our partners worked successfully to support enactment of the New York Voting Rights Act in 2022 and the Connecticut Voting Rights Act in 2023; and we now have several active campaigns across multiple states. 

LDF’s State VRA work is conducted in partnership with local voting rights leaders and is cross-departmental—lead by the Policy Department and including substantial contributions from the Litigation, Communications, and Organizing departments.  Depending upon location and need, our work includes bill drafting and other technical support; lobbying, including oral and written testimony; coalition building and management; organizing town halls, press conferences, and other events; engaging with traditional media; digital organizing; and overall campaign strategy and management.

LDF is looking to add two full-time members to the State VRA team, to work alongside other LDF attorneys, experts, and national, state, and local partners on enactment and implementation of State VRAs.  The Policy Counsel position will be an ongoing staff role, while the Policy Fellow position is a one-year appointment with an opportunity to extend to a second year subject to performance and organizational need.  Fellows have up to three years of post-JD experience and Policy Counsels must have four or more years of post- JD experience.

The Policy Fellow / Counsel(s) will join LDF’s Policy Department and report to the Senior Policy Counsel directing the SVRA work and the Director of Policy.  The position is based in Washington, D.C.  As of March 7, 2022, LDF has 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:

  • Develop goals, strategies, and tactics for effective advocacy campaigns in support of State VRAs;
  • Draft and deliver testimony at the state and local levels;
  • Conduct policy, legal, and other forms of research to build the case for policy change;
  • Work collaboratively with LDF’s attorneys and other staff to write, publish and widely disseminate reports, fact sheets, talking points, infographics, letters, testimony, and other documents that will educate community-based stakeholders, legislators, agency officials, and others about State VRAs and other issues;
  • Conduct direct advocacy to key decision-makers in support of State VRAs;
  • Participate in and/or build national coalitions, partnerships, and task forces, working to strategize, engage collaboratively, and advance State VRAs and LDF’s other priorities;
  • Engage in public speaking and trainings on issues related to voting rights;
  • Serve as a spokesperson to media outlets;
  • Travel to relevant state capitals for in-person advocacy, pursuant to LDF’s COVID travel guidelines;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with state legislators, other officials, and staff as a trusted partner and advocate for development, enactment, and implementation of State VRAs;
  • Comply with all applicable federal and state lobbying requirements, including registering as a lobbyist at the state level where appropriate; and
  • Other responsibilities as assigned, including work on LDF political participation priorities beyond State VRAs.

Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctor degree;
  • Minimum three years of experience with legislative advocacy on any topic or voting-related litigation for the Policy Fellow role (not all experience must be post-JD)
  • Minimum four years of post-JD experience with legislative advocacy on any topic or voting-related litigation for the Policy Counsel role
  • Familiarity with the jurisprudence, statutes (e.g., the federal Voting Rights Act), issues, and topics related to voting rights, particularly with respect to their impact on Black people and other communities of color, considered a plus but not required;
  • Demonstrated commitment to LDF’s mission and a record of engagement with racial justice and civil rights;
  • Excellent analytical, research, and writing skills;
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to clearly translate technical concepts for a non-technical audience;
  • A demonstrated ability to develop and manage strong relationships and partnerships with coalitions of organizations, community members/leaders, public officials and others;
  • 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.

The salary range for this position is $83,000- $125,500. 

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.

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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