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Special Projects Assistant

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is seeking a Special Projects Assistant. This position presents an exciting opportunity to join NACDL’s policy team, supporting training and reform efforts on wide range of issues impacting the criminal justice system and affected communities.

About Us

NACDL is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system. For more information about our organization, please visit


Working with a broad cross-section of system stakeholders and NACDL policy staff, responsibilities will include coordinating local, regional, and national events around criminal justice issues.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities Include:

  • Assist in organizing events to promote criminal justice reform, including lobby days, town hall meetings, webinars, and awareness around Second Chance Month.
  • Assist in coordinating NACDL’s community expungement fairs, including recruiting partners, securing event facilities, securing pro bono attorneys, advertising, and other event logistics.
  • Assist in planning and executing training events, including developing agendas, recruiting presenters and attendees, securing event facilities, coordinating travel, tracking expenditures and processing reimbursements.
  • Help develop and maintain web-based materials used by criminal justice professionals and the public.
  • Assist in the creation of multi-media educational materials, including the development of video content, web-based interactive learning materials, infographics, and toolkits.
  • Provide administrative support for grant-related activities.
  • Gather and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data relating to public defense projects.
  • Assist in identifying new partners and opportunities for community engagement to further NACDL’s policy priorities.

Qualifications and Experience:

Qualified candidates will possess strong organizational skills and be comfortable with learning and using new technology. Ideal candidates will have a demonstrable interest in criminal or social justice issues either through professional experience, academic studies, or community activities.

Other necessary qualifications include:

  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously
  • Attention to detail
  • Some experience with event planning preferred
  • Adaptability when dealing with unexpected difficulties
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with a broad cross-section of criminal justice system stakeholder groups
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Willing and able to travel domestically
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, especially Excel and PowerPoint
  • Strong oral and written communications skills  
  • Adept at social media

Benefits and Application Process:

We value the collaborative work environment in our Washington, DC office, however, due to the COVID-19 virus, employees are working remotely. This position will be expected to work from the office once it is safe to do so (or once we return to regular operations). The salary range for this position is $33,000 - $35,000, commensurate with experience. NACDL employees 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: Send cover letter, resume and writing sample (3-5 pp.) to with “Special Projects Assistant” in the subject line. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Position open until filled, and prospective candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

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