Senior State Legislative Counsel, U.S. Policy & Advocacy

Job Title: Senior State Legislative Counsel, U.S. Policy & Advocacy

DepartmentUS Programs

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women’s reproductive health, self-determination and dignity. Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect and fulfill. Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, D.C. and a diverse staff of more than 180 professionals. Its annual operating budget is approximately $30 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory. The Center is now poised for a new phase of significant expansion through its current Strategic Plan.

The Center’s game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage. It has brought ground-breaking cases before national courts., U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 55 countries.

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

The Role: Reporting directly to the Chief Counsel, State Policy and Advocacy, the Senior State Legislative Counsel will be a critical member of the Center’s U.S. State Policy and Advocacy team. The Senior State Legislative Counsel will be part of a team responsible for oversight, development, and implementation of the Center’s legislative strategies and state partner and policy maker engagement to strengthen protections for, and expand access to, reproductive health care in the states.

The individual who assumes this role must be able to work collaboratively with litigation team members, across program and department teams, and with external partners as required in support of the Centers’ mission. The Senior State Legislative Counsel must be tenacious, proactive, and contribute to a positive collegial work environment.

Position placement: New York City preferred. May consider Washington, D.C.

Responsibilities of the State Legislative Counsel will include but not be limited to:

  • Providing timely technical assistance to State advocates on select state legislative issues, including bill drafting, strategy, analysis, and related advocacy tools. 
  • Preparing legal analyses of state legislative proposals affecting women’s reproductive rights. 
  • Analyzing emerging state legislative trends affecting women’s reproductive rights. 
  • Developing and implementing legislative strategies to block anti-abortion bills, as well as proactive strategies to promote legislation to support women’s comprehensive reproductive rights and health. 
  • Representing the Center in national coalitions and working with national partners to develop and implement state legislative strategies. 
  • Preparing advocacy materials, such as summaries of legislative activity across the country, talking points, briefing papers, etc. 
  • Regularly reviewing and providing input on Communications and Development materials (including grant proposals) relating to reproductive health and rights activity in state legislatures. 
  • Speaking and writing about reproductive rights, including in response to press requests. 
  • Representing the Center at national conferences and with clients and other allied organizations. 
  • Other work as assigned. 


  • Strong commitment to the Center’s mission, purpose, and values. 
  • J.D. plus admission to a bar; New York active bar membership required or willingness to become a member within 18 months of hire. (District of Columbia bar membership if based in D.C.). 
  • Outstanding legal research, analytical, writing, and oral advocacy skills. 
  • Minimum of six years of legislative advocacy experience, state legislative advocacy preferred. 
  • Knowledge of reproductive rights issues required and knowledge of issues relating to women’s equality, human rights, civil rights, racial and social justice issues, or experience working with or on behalf of marginalized communities is a plus. Other relevant experience will be considered. 
  • Superior communication skills with the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders. Understanding and appreciation of different and opposing perspectives and the ability to adapt approaches as the requirements of a situation change. 
  • Strong collaborative skills, including a demonstrated ability to work in coalition and demonstrated experience working with state or local advocates preferred. 
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills. 
  • Ability to self-motivate, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and provide quick turnaround of assignments while collaborating in a team. 
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines while continuing to maintain a positive attitude. 
  • Ability to give and receive feedback and resolve conflicts constructively and professionally. 
  • Professionalism, excellent judgment. 
  • Ability to travel occasionally as needed. 
  • Spanish language skills a plus. 

Critical Position Behaviors: 

  • Integrity: Possesses impeccable integrity and personal and professional values that are consistent with the Center's high standards and mission. 
  • Collaborative: Brings a track record of working effectively with various and diverse individuals and groups. 
  • Innovative: Demonstrated ability to be innovative and highly productive, with a focus on excellence in a high energy, fast moving, deadline-orientated environment. 
  • Initiative: Effectively responds to pressure or crisis situations and acts professionally.  Uses resources well.  Follows through on ideas, assignments and open issues.  Must possess a “can-do” and “will-do” attitude. 
  • Results Oriented: Ability to achieve results and complete assignments in a timely manner. 
  • Committed to learning: Applies a growth mentality to their own development and pushes self to work out of comfort zone. Promotes a culture of learning by modeling inquisitiveness and an openness to viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve. 
  • Adaptive/flexible: Demonstrates comfort with ambiguity and calculated risk-taking. 
  • Transparent: Consistently applies openness and honesty in communicating to team members. 
  • Empathetic: An approachable team player who engenders trust and confidence, with an inherent ability to interact positively with all members of the Center staff. 

Compensation: The Center offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits program.

How to Apply: Please click on the link below to apply. A cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references must be included in your application in order to be considered for this position. Please include these application materials as attachments. Please submit all of your materials as a single PDF under either the cv/resume or cover letter upload option.

Deadline for Applications: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply.
Please note that all genuine Center openings must be applied through the Center website.  The Center does not charge a fee at any stage in the recruitment process (application, interviews, or selection). Nor does it request any medical examinations or bank account information as part of this process.  If someone contacts, you on behalf of the Center requesting payment for your application, please notify before taking any further action. 

US Programs
New York City