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Public Affairs & Communications Associate

NACDL is seeking to hire a Public Affairs & Communications Associate to further the Association’s policy reform agenda, in particular through its numerous communications platforms. This individual will provide support, and report directly, to the Senior Director for Public Affairs & Communications. This role assists in translating complex issues/topics into understandable terms for news releases, electronic communications, newspaper and magazine articles, op-eds, and letters to the editor.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities:

  • Assists in the drafting, editing and strategic dissemination of news releases, letters to the editor, and opinion pieces.
  • Provides robust public affairs and communications support and assistance to NACDL's policy and pro bono initiatives.
  • Builds and maintains ongoing relationships with key legal affairs, justice, congressional, and Supreme Court reporters, provides background information and/or media referrals to NACDL’s leadership, and prepares spokespersons for media interviews.
  • Assists in the production of NACDL’s monthly electronic newsletter, E-News. Responsible for formatting and dissemination of E-News.
  • Assists in the drafting and editing of the “NACDL News” column for the Association’s renowned monthly magazine, The Champion.
  • Shares responsibility for the editing and distribution of NACDL’s Daily Criminal Justice Briefing.
  • Assists in the production of NACDL’s podcast series, “The Criminal Docket.”
  • Assists in the production and promotion of NACDL and NACDL Foundation videos.
  • Continually tracks media coverage of the Association, and its various policy departments’ agenda and priority items, alerting policy staff and membership as appropriate.
  • Supports the content management of various parts of the NACDL website, including Home Page Features Boxes and News & Events, News of Interest, NACDL in the News, News Releases, E-News, Podcasts, NACDL Reports, Amicus Curiae Briefs, and on various criminal defense issues.
  • Helps manage the Association’s presence on multiple social media platforms.
  • Works closely with members of NACDL’s Policy Department and NACDL’s allied organizations on issues concerning criminal legal reform and NACDL’s Return to Freedom Project.
  • Assists in the editing, publishing, and marketing of books by NACDLPress.
  • Brings the Association’s activities and positions to the attention of news media and the public, through news releases, opinion essays, and the like.

Education, Experience and Competencies:

  • Bachelor’s degree in media, communications, journalism, or a related field, with an interest in criminal law and policy, is required.
  • Minimum one (1) year experience in public affairs and communications, or a related field.
  • Experience using social media in support of an organization to include Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • Excellent research skills (traditional and online) as well as superior oral and written communications skills are a must.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to demonstrate a strong work ethic and sound professional judgment.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and respond to rapid-response demands.
  • Ability to articulate and able to work well with NACDL’s leaders, members, staff, allies, and the media.
  • Ability to operate website content management systems and audio editing software (such as Audacity). Video editing and production skills and video storytelling experience strongly preferred.
  • Strong skills in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
  • Ability to perform successfully in a team-oriented environment.
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills, specific ability to professionally and thoroughly communicate with customers both via phone and in-person.

Benefits And Application Procedure

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NACDL employees are currently working remotely. When it is deemed safe to return to in-person work, this position ​will be based at NACDL’s Washington, D.C. office, conveniently located near downtown Metro stops. NACDL employees ​work a standard 37.5-hour week and enjoy a generous package of employee benefits, including subsidized health, dental and vision insurance, company-paid life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, a pre-tax commuting subsidy, a 401(k) plan with generous company contributions, paid time off, and paid holidays.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, college (and graduate school, if applicable) transcript, and two writing samples to Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL’s Senior Director of Public Affairs & Communications, at Please use “Public Affairs and Communications Associate” in the subject line.

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