Aug 02, 2022

Associate Counsel for Economic Justice

  • New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
  • Newark, NJ, USA
Full-Time Advocacy/Lobbying Civic Engagement Policy

Job Description

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (the “Institute”) is looking for a dynamic team player to serve as an Associate Counsel for Economic Justice to implement a program of legal and policy advocacy to expand racial and social justice in New Jersey.

This is an exciting opportunity, at a critical time in our history, to advance racial and social justice to topple load-bearing walls of structural inequality to create just, vibrant and healthy communities in New Jersey through the Institute’s Economic Justice Program.  Through the creation of inclusive policies and programs that support the financial security and mobility of economically-vulnerable communities of color, our work serves to ensure that New Jersey families thrive, while growing the state’s economy for all.  Our evidence-driven, solutions-focused work targets several areas which are the root causes of economic vulnerability, poverty, and the racial wealth gap, including the following: (1) unemployment and lack of access to quality jobs, (2) a lack of affordable and non-discriminatory housing and homeownership options in safe and healthy neighborhoods, (3) inequality and discrimination in  access to affordable credit, (4) inequitable access to higher education financing and (5) disparities in access to intergenerational wealth. Our work is rooted in the knowledge that the racial wealth gap is a manifestation of the policy-generated inequalities in these areas, each of which has crucial influence on the ability of families to meet daily needs as well as to save for the future and grow wealth. This foundational belief has also led the Institute to launch a new dynamic campaign called Say the Word: Reparations, which calls on New Jersey to create a statewide reparations task force.  

Our goal within the Economic Justice Program is to build in New Jersey the most inclusive economy in America that can serve as a national model for what is possible from the ground up in our communities. 

The Institute advocates for systemic reform that is at once transformative, achievable in the state, and replicable in communities across the nation. 


Reports to: Director, Economic Justice 


Our physical office is located in Newark, New Jersey. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, our staff has had the option to work from home or to work in our office at a limited capacity but plan to resume a hybrid work model this fall. As normal office functions and event scheduling resume, the position will require travel throughout the state and occasional travel to national conferences, seminars and events. The position may also require some speaking engagements outside of normal office hours (including on the weekend).


Responsibilities include:

·       Help execute programmatic functions and monitor implementation of the Institute’s vision for economic initiatives, including the integration of legislative initiatives, policy goals, public education, and targeted campaigns. 

·       Attend Programs Team meetings, and work closely with the entire Programs team and Institute staff, particularly with the Director of Economic Justice, to realize Institute goals and advance the Economic Justice body of work.

·       Collaborate with economic justice colleagues and partners in supporting and developing proposals for legislation, regulations, and policy initiatives regarding economic justice reform.

·       Research and draft policy analysis, position papers, reports, letters, testimony, and advocacy materials pertaining to legislation, proposed administrative rules and regulations, and government policies and practices affecting the Institute’s economic justice programming priorities.

·       Research and draft op-eds, online articles, and opinion pieces.

·       Attend coalition meetings and symposia and participate in in-depth briefings pertaining to Institute priority issues.

·       Engage in public speaking, including with the media and at conferences for expert and lay audiences.

·       Work in collaboration with Institute staff, coalition members, and community partners on issue-based campaigns.

·       Help organize policy roundtables and convenings exploring economic justice issues. 

·       Work with Institute colleagues to develop and incubate pilot policy and advocacy initiatives.

·       Help implement the Institute’s vision for community engagement in the Economic Justice Pillar—including the integration of advocacy, legislative initiatives, policy goals, public education, and targeted campaigns.

·       Ensure smooth planning, running, and tracking of community engagement activities in the Economic Justice Pillar, including advocate councils, legislative testimonies, building community groups/databases, events, et al.

·       Mobilize community groups as needed for public education and to support programmatic campaigns.

·       Ensure seamless integration of policy research with community outreach efforts in the Economic Justice Pillar.

  • Work with partner organizations and individuals to advance the Institute’s mission, engage on shared priorities, and exchange knowledge and information in support of the Institute’s programs and initiatives.
  • Assist with the integration of legislative initiatives, policy goals, public education, and targeted campaigns.

·       Build strategic alliances with organizations and individuals to advance the Institute’s mission, engage on shared priorities, and exchange knowledge and information in support of the Institute’s programs and initiatives.

·       Form and maintain relationships with Institute partners, including other nonprofit agencies, students, community-based organizations, policy institutions, et al.

·       Work with the communications team to integrate policy and legal advocacy with communications, including through public education materials, reports, white papers, talking points, op-eds, and press releases.

·       Model values of an inclusive and respectful workplace and foster the same in the staff. 

About the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice:

The Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and we value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.

Established in 1999 by Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein, the Institute’s cutting-edge racial and social justice advocacy seeks to empower people of color by building reparative systems that create wealth, transform justice and harness democratic power—from the ground up—in New Jersey. 

Known for our dynamic and independent advocacy aimed at toppling load-bearing walls of structural inequality to create just, vibrant and healthy communities, we are committed to exposing and repairing the cracks of structural racism in our foundation that erupt into earthquakes in communities of color. 

The Institute advocates for systemic reform that is at once transformative, achievable in the state and replicable in communities across the nation.  

Hiring Organization

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice


·       Law degree and at least three years of full-time work experience.

·       A demonstrated ability to successfully execute large-scale and short and long-term projects, preferably advocacy and policy initiatives.

·       Ability to work effectively with diverse coalitions and community groups, particularly of color, and to work across political ideology, race, ethnicity, socio-economic circumstances, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.

·       Ability to be a self-starter, working diligently to move projects forward and manage up to supervisors through clear communication in real time.

·       Passion for, and knowledge of, racial and social justice, and a familiarity with the work and mission of the Institute.

·       Preference for experience working at a policy or advocacy organization, or in government, particularly on economic justice issues, including housing, access to credit, asset-building initiatives, higher education finance and/or workforce and labor.

·       Excellent research and writing skills; superior attention to detail; good problem-solving skills and a positive, professional attitude with excellent judgment, flexibility, determination, and grace in a sometimes high-pressure office.

·       Exceptional oral communication skills.

·       Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously – sometimes under pressure – and manage time to ensure completion of short and long-term projects.

·       The ability to work effectively in a collaborative context, both internally and externally.

·       Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team approach, including a willingness to circulate widely, communicates openly, listen well, and learn from others.

·       Excellent judgment and follow through.

·       Willingness to travel throughout the state, and occasionally around the country, for conferences. 

Industry/Service Area

Public Policy, Social Justice, Think Tank




This is a full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with experience and includes excellent benefits, including health, dental, and vision, life insurance, Medical Expense Reimbursement Program, travel stipend, a 401(k) plan with an employer contribution, and generous vacation, sick, and holiday leave.

Application Instructions

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and will be accepted until the position is filled. Please email your cover letter, school transcripts, resume, two professional writing samples on which you are the primary author, and three professional references to recruitment@njisj.orgPlease submit your application materials via Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.  Include all attachments in a single email stating, in the subject line, “Associate Counsel for Economic Justice.”

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