October 1, 2013
Renika Moore’03 was a 2015-16 Wasserstein Fellow. This blog post was written 2013 when Renika was at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund with the Economic Justice Group. She is now with the New York State Attorney General’s Office in their Labor Bureau.
Renika Moore, HLS class of 2003, is currently the director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Economic Justice Group. The purpose of this division is to address racially driven obstacles to economic equality, as well as discrimination in employment and housing. The bulk of the division’s work is impact litigation, but they also engage in legislation, regulatory advocacy and public education. On a typical week, Ms. Moore is involved with some aspect of the litigation process such as brief writing, deposition, discovery, and trial preparation. She also works on some appellate cases and amicus briefs.
After graduating from law school, Ms. Moore clerked on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for Judge Robert Carter, who had a prominent career as a civil rights lawyer, including working on Brown v. Board of Education. Ms. Moore then went to work for Outten & Golden, LLP, a plaintiff’s employment law firm before coming to the NAACP LDF.
When asked to give advice for current students looking to pursue a career in racial justice and public interest more broadly, Ms. Moore recommended being creative and flexible. She did not take the path she thought she would when she was in law school and she suggests that students be flexible in both the geographic areas as well as in subject areas they work in. She also emphasized that in law school students should stay involved in the subject areas or organizations they are interested in. During law school, Ms. Moore was an editor of the Civil Right Civil Liberties Law Review, was in the Criminal Justice Institute clinic, as well as interned with the NAACP LDF. Students should also build a network of people doing interesting things and stay connected with them so they can help identify paths and opportunities for you as you build your career.
For students interested in working in racial justice issues or the NAACP LDF in particular, Ms. Moore says that most attorneys in this area have done some work with the organization or partner organization during or after law school. Attorneys cannot come in “cold” but rather need to have a demonstrated commitment and experience in civil rights law. She says that professors, OPIA, and alumni are very helpful in connecting students interested in this area with organizations and opportunities.
Prepared by former 1L Section Rep Nora Mahlberg