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Public Affairs & Communications Assistant

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is seeking a Public Affairs & Communications Assistant to provide support to the Sr. Director of Public Affairs & Communications. The Assistant will be responsible for drafting, editing, and strategic dissemination of various print and online written, video, and audio content including news releases, letters to the editor, columns, opinion pieces, and podcasts. 

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 fair, rational, and humane criminal justice system.

The position presents an exciting opportunity to participate in various projects that advance the Association’s mission and reputation nationally and internationally, and address a wide range of criminal justice issues. The range of topics is broad, and may include issues concerning public defense, white collar crime, racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system, detention and prosecution in the “War on Terror,” the reliance of courts on “forensic science,” alternative proceedings such as drug courts, the state of the misdemeanor court system, and much more.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities:

  • Assists in the drafting, editing and strategic dissemination of news releases, letters to the editor, and opinion pieces.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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
  • Brings the Association’s activities and positions to the attention of news media and the public, through news releases, opinion essays and the like.
  • Pursues creative new initiatives to put a human face on NACDL’s substantive work.


Qualified candidates will possess an undergraduate or graduate degree in media, communications, journalism, or a related field, with an interest in criminal law and policy. The ideal candidate will share NACDL’s commitment to its mission. Excellent research skills (traditional and online) as well as superior oral and written communications skills are a must. The candidate will be comfortable working in a team-oriented environment.

Additionally, the ideal candidate is: 

  • Detail-oriented.
  • Adept at managing competing priorities and respond to rapid-response demands.
  • Articulate and able to work well with NACDL’s leaders, members, staff, allies, and the media.
  • Able (or willing to learn how) to operate website content management systems and audio editing software (such as Audacity).
  • Conversant with Microsoft Office.
  • Adept at social media
  • Able to travel domestically on an occasional basis.
  • Expertise in videography and/or visual production is a significant plus.

Benefits and Application Procedure

This position is based at NACDL’s Washington, D.C. office, conveniently located near downtown Metro stops. Salary is competitive and 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, please submit a cover letter including minimum acceptable salary range, a resume, college (and graduate school, if applicable) transcript (if out of school fewer than three years), and at least two writing samples to Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL’s Sr. Director of Public Affairs & Communications, at idominguez@nacdl.org. The position will remain open until filled.

To learn more about NACDL’s programs and projects, visit www.nacdl.org.

NACDL is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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