Counsel (posted 5.23.19)
Position, Duties & Responsibilities
Fair Elections Center is seeking an attorney with a background or strong interest in civil rights, voting rights, and/or election reform to join our legal team. The Center has an aggressive and expanding litigation docket, including pending challenges to the arbitrary felon voting rights restoration scheme in Kentucky, restrictions and penalties imposed on voter registration drive activity in Tennessee, and unnecessary barriers to the use of student IDs as voter ID in Wisconsin. Recent cases include a First Amendment challenge to Florida’s arbitrary felon disenfranchisement and re-enfranchisement system which resulted in the first court order striking down a state felon disenfranchisement or re-enfranchisement scheme in over 30 years, and a federal lawsuit in Louisiana which forced the state to repeal a 142-year-old proof of citizenship requirement that discriminated against naturalized voter registration applicants.
Primary responsibilities for this Counsel position will include but not be limited to the following:
Working as part of Fair Elections Center’s legal team to develop and litigate all aspects of federal and state lawsuits to protect the right to vote, from investigating voting rights barriers on the ground to drafting complaints to conducting discovery to drafting briefs in the trial court and on appeal;
Working with partner election reform, registration, and mobilization groups to advance legislation, rules, and administrative practices which expand voter participation and to combat restrictive measures;
Engaging in ongoing outreach to state and local election officials to discuss reform initiatives and identify opportunities to collaborate to ease voters’ access to the ballot;
Collaborating on researching and drafting policy reports and other election reform thought leadership;
Supporting the work of the Center’s Campus Vote Project to expand and protect voting rights for students and young voters;
Drafting op-eds and blog posts to communicate the impact of various election reforms to wider audiences and to condemn voter suppression efforts; and
Additional responsibilities include speaking engagements, attending staff and partner meetings, and assisting with review of development materials.
A J.D. is required, as is a minimum of two years post-J.D. experience, which can include any mix of clerkships, fellowships, and/or practice in a litigation or policy advocacy role. A passion for the defense of civil rights and voting rights is essential as is an interest in an inclusive democracy. Some familiarity with election and voting laws and/or policy and some knowledge of barriers to the exercise of voting rights and election reform ideas are strongly preferred. Familiarity with grassroots, community-based organizations or campaign or organizing experience are strongly preferred as well. This work is challenging but fulfilling.
State Bar membership is required, i.e. the applicant must currently be a member of or able to waive into the D.C. Bar. Some travel is required.
Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include generous vacation and health, dental and vision coverage as well as a 403 (b) pension plan with employer contribution.
Fair Elections Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value diversity in our work environment and believe it furthers our mission. Applicants from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Please send cover letter and resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Fair Elections Center
Fair Elections Center is a national, nonpartisan voting rights and election reform 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to use litigation and advocacy to remove barriers to registration and voting, particularly those disenfranchising underrepresented and marginalized communities, and to improve election administration.
Fair Elections Center’s attorneys and advocates deliver nonpartisan creative solutions to the complex barriers that have been and continue to be erected to prevent citizens from registering to vote and casting a ballot that counts. Working alongside other national and state civil rights and community-based organizations, the Center works to make the processes of voter registration, voting, and election administration as accessible as possible for every American, with a particular focus on underrepresented communities and students.
To these ends, Fair Elections Center litigates cutting-edge voting rights cases in federal and state court and engages in a wide variety of advocacy efforts, including: drafting election reform legislation and submitting testimony in support of positive reforms, advocating to defeat restrictive measures, producing reports on election modernization proposals and issues affecting communities of color, talking points and fact sheets, providing state voter guides for all 50 states, conducting trainings and seminars on voting issues for community organizations and their supporters, and working directly with Secretaries of State and local election officials to ensure that the right to vote is protected and expanded. We provide election law expertise to state-based civic engagement coalitions and direct help to organizations representing various constituencies that need help accessing the ballot as they plan their programs, encounter problems, or need help engaging elections officials.