LAC is a non-profit law and policy organization that specializes in fighting discrimination against and protecting the rights of people with substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records.

New York

The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. Over four decades, LAC’s legal and policy projects have helped hundreds of thousands of men and women by  expanding addiction treatment, fighting stigma and discrimination, and protecting privacy rights crucial to getting and staying in care.  We have also broken down barriers that keep millions of people with criminal records from employment, housing, education and other opportunities

Job Title: Communications Director

Position Description: The Communications Director leads and manages implementation of activities that drive awareness of the Legal Action Center at the national and local level, increase depth of engagement with a variety of audiences, and support the organization’s fundraising efforts. The Legal Action Center is an entrepreneurial organization where team work is paramount and support of activities and responsibilities within and across departments is expected and encouraged.


  • Collaborate with the executive director and senior leadership to develop communications strategies that will broaden programmatic reach, deepen impact, and raise visibility of LAC and its work. Key audiences and relationships include:
    • federal, state and local policymakers and government officials
    • opinion leaders
    • constituents and others focused on LAC’s services
    • colleague advocacy organizations
    • journalists covering LAC’s issues
    • editorial boards
  • Manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of all content through a variety of formats, including but not limited to op-eds, blogs, letters to the editor, speeches, email, newsletters, brochures, website, and social media, that engages appropriate audiences and leads to measurable outcomes.
  • Ensure all organizational communication meets brand guidelines, and accurately reflects and communicates key organizational messages and in keeping with strategic priorities.
  • Manage media relations, including relationship development with key members of local and national media, providing helpful information, and pitching relevant stories.
  • Identify strategic communications opportunities, including significant media stories and public policy issues that can be leveraged to support LAC’s work, and create and implement plans to make full use of them.
  • Coordinate production of print and web collateral materials, including working with graphic or web designers and printers.
  • Support executive director, senior leadership, and development staff with communication and outreach to current and potential funders
  • Act as representative of the Legal Action Center to a variety of constituents, the media, constituents, government officials, board members, key partners, and others.
  • Report regularly on progress of communication efforts to executive director.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • At least five to seven years’ work experience preferred
  • Significant communications experience that includes a blend of advocacy and media relations
  • Ability to take knowledge and transform it into exciting and useful messages, and disseminate it to the right audiences through the best distribution channels
  • Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills
  • Strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently
  • Highly collaborative style; experience developing and implementing communications strategies
  • High energy, maturity, and leadership with ability to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with variety of groups and individuals, including staff, board members, coalition members, donors, volunteers, and others
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives
  • Experience in advocacy-focused nonprofits preferred
  • Willing to learn, work hard, and teach others
  • Excellent organizational skills, with a high level of attention to detail and an ability to manage multiple implementation timelines and relationships with multiple partners
  • Ability to coach and support senior leaders as spokespersons; public speaking experience preferred
  • Sense of humor and ability to work in fast-paced environment


TO APPLY:  Please e-mail a resume, brief cover letter, and salary requirements (no calls) to [email protected] and write Communications Director in the subject line.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but please apply as soon as possible. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

Legal Internships

The Legal Action Center (LAC) is seeking applications from second and third year law students for our part-time Semester Legal Internship program. LAC seeking interns for Fall, Winter, and Spring internships. LAC’s Legal Interns work with our attorneys and policy staff to assist with impact litigation, direct client services, and policy advocacy on behalf of individuals with substance use disorders, criminal records, and/or HIV/AIDS. Much of LAC’s work is undertaken in the areas of employment discrimination, health care access, health privacy, disability and other civil rights law, and the administration of the criminal justice system. Excellent research and writing skills are required.

ABOUT THE LEGAL ACTION CENTER: The Legal Action Center is the only non-profit law and policy organization in the United States whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, and/or criminal records, and to advocate for sound public policies in these areas. For four decades, LAC has worked to combat the stigma and prejudice that keep these individuals out of the mainstream of society. The Legal Action Center is committed to helping people reclaim their lives, maintain their dignity, and participate fully in society as productive, responsible citizens.

LAC works to reduce alcohol and drug use disorders by conducting policy advocacy to expand and improve treatment and prevention, providing legal assistance to people in recovery or still suffering from addiction, and working with programs that serve them to fight discrimination and violations of privacy. LAC works to prevent HIV/AIDS and protect those living with HIV/AIDS by providing legal assistance to people with HIV/AIDS and programs that serve them, and advocating for expanded prevention, care and other services. LAC helps improve the criminal justice system by helping qualified people with criminal records to obtain employment and services needed to re-enter society successfully, assisting programs that work with them, and conducting public policy advocacy and research to reform sentencing laws, expand community corrections, and promote other sound policies.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: Working with staff at LAC’s New York City office, Legal Interns assist attorneys and policy staff with the broad array of work LAC performs, including:

  • legal research and writing for impact litigation and client advocacy;
  • research and writing for public policy advocacy;
  • working directly with clients and prospective clients by conducting intakes, providing information to individuals seeking to overcome barriers based on their criminal histories, and drafting client advocacy documents; and
  • drafting position papers, legislation, and other policy documents.

QUALIFICATIONS: Excellent communication, advocacy, analytic and writing skills required. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer.

TIME COMMITMENT: At least 10-15 hours per week for at least 10 weeks. Full-time positions are also available. If an intern is available to work more hours each week or for more than 10 weeks, there may be more opportunities to increase the level of responsibility and range of work.

COMPENSATION: If the Legal Intern is not receiving course credit or other funding, LAC will pay an hourly wage.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to the Legal Action Center, Attention: Legal Intern Coordinator, 225 Varick St., Suite 402, New York, NY 10014; fax: (212) 675-0286; email: [email protected], with subject line “Legal Internship.”


Washington, D.C.

Position Announcement: Policy Associate 

The Legal Action Center (LAC) seeks a Policy Associate in its Washington, D.C. office to work on a variety of projects primarily related to criminal justice reform. This position will focus on eliminating discriminatory federal and state policies facing people who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

About the Organization 

LAC is a private, not-for-profit law and policy organization with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. LAC is the only organization in the country whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people living with criminal records, drug or alcohol histories, and/or HIV/AIDS. LAC’s multi-faceted approach involves direct legal services and impact litigation, technical assistance and training to agencies that serve our constituencies, and national, federal and state policy advocacy to create systemic changes. The Center’s National Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment (HIRE) Network project was established in 2001 to increase the number and quality of job opportunities available to people with criminal records by improving employment policies and practices and changing public opinion. HIRE accomplishes these goals by: serving as a clearinghouse for information, providing leadership on public policy and advocacy, providing technical assistance and training on overcoming employment barriers based on a criminal record, and promoting collaboration between the workforce development, business, and criminal justice communities across the nation.

Job Responsibilities: 

The Policy Associate will focus primarily on federal policy advocacy and analysis of issues related to ending discrimination against people with criminal records and people with substance use disorder histories. Responsibilities will include:

  • Helping to develop and implement advocacy strategies with Congress and the Administration to eliminate legal and policy barriers against people with criminal histories.
  • Conducting policy research and analysis of federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Writing policy materials for Congress and advocates.
  • Participating in a number of coalitions on behalf of the Center.
  • Conducting educational presentations and trainings on various criminal justice reform issues; and
  • Serving as a liaison between state and federal criminal justice reform advocates.


  • Public policy experience (minimum 2 years), preferably in the area of criminal justice.  Graduate degrees in law or public policy preferred. A passion for advocacy to eliminate discriminatory policies facing people who have been involved in the criminal justice system is essential.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, advocacy, and analytic skills, including the ability to explain complex issues in clear, persuasive terms.
  • High level of organizational skills and ability to multi-task.
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with individuals, organizations and government agencies and well as to work with diverse groups of people.
  • Desire and ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a small (5-6 people), busy office.
  • Willingness to travel.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including medical insurance, 403(b) plan with employer contribution, and pre-tax flexible benefits. 


Please e-mail a resume and brief cover letter (no calls) to [email protected] and write Policy Associate in the subject line.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but please apply as soon as possible.  Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

October 19, 2016

Legal Internships

If you are interested in Interning in our Washington, D.C. office, we periodically have positions available. Through our Washington office, LAC advocates with Congress and agencies within the administration to improve our federal laws and policies to end discrimination against people in recovery or still suffering from addiction; to expand funding and coverage for life-saving alcohol and drug treatment, prevention, and research; and to eliminate barriers that people with criminal records face when reentering the community from incarceration.

JOB DESCRIPTION AND DUTIES: LAC interns research, track, and analyze federal legislation and policy, attend Congressional hearings and briefings, and assist in other ongoing projects related to the federal advocacy work. Excellent research and writing skills are required. Past interns have included law school and other graduate students interested in policy advocacy; some LAC interns have elected to continue their internship beyond the summer semester. While this has traditionally been a paid internship, individuals could instead elect to receive credit for their work. The Legal Action Center is an equal opportunity employer. Members of LAC’s stakeholder populations are strongly urged to apply.

More information about LAC and our National HIRE Network, which focuses on expanding employment opportunities for people with criminal records, can be found on our websites, and, or by contacting Sherie V. Boyd, Office Manager, at [email protected].

To apply for this internship, please send a cover letter and resume to Ms. Boyd at [email protected].


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