Job Announcement: Project Director, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

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Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law seeks a Project Director for its new Public Rights/Private Conscience Project.  The Director would lead the Project’s research and advocacy on the multiple contexts in which assertions of conscience and/or religious convictions are used to carve out exceptions to otherwise universally binding rights of equality and sexual liberty.


  1. Develop strategy on a local, state and federal level to respond to the uses of religion to limit the scope of reproductive and sexual rights;
  2. Develop model policy language and ideal workplace practices for dissemination in settings such as employees who seek to refuse services on the basis of a religious or conscience-based objection, or professional/medical ethics policy on conscience-based refusals of service;
  3. Create a Best Practices toolkit for LGBT and women’s rights advocates aimed at offering model language for religious exemptions policies and legislative language;
  4. Undertake legal analysis of proposed religious exemption laws to provide to affected stakeholders such as hospital general counsels, professional associations, and others explaining not only the complex interactions between rights and religion, but also the complications of hospital accreditation and licensing as well as other unintended consequences that may flow from the assertion of religion as an exemption from otherwise secured rights;
  5. In conjunction with the Center’s Co-Directors, the incumbent will undertake and coordinate scholars in the field of law, religion, medical ethics, and civil/constitutional rights to generate analysis, arguments and research that contextualizes and re-frames the current polarized arguments for and against religious liberty;
  6. Promote new understanding and support for frameworks developed through engagement in public sphere through op-eds, media appearances, symposia, articles in general and scholarly publications and reports;
  7. Lead coalition work among key stake-holders (such as policy staff for educational, medical and other professional organizations, hospital and university general counsel, and attorneys general) to develop and disseminate new scholarly framing of the legal issues at stake with religious exemptions.

Position Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree required; J.D. and bar admission strongly preferred; a minimum of 5-7 years related experience strongly preferred. Excellent writing, research, analytic, leadership and communication skills; Two to five years of litigation and/or advocacy experience; A demonstrated ability to bridge academic and advocacy communities; Familiarity with civil rights issues highly desirable; knowledge of LGBT, reproductive rights, religious liberty, and/or of health care issues a plus; Leadership, self-motivation and an ability to work collaboratively.

To apply:

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