DC-Center for Human Rights- Staff Attorney 1

  • Posted on 29 June 2020
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Job Description

The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights is seeking a staff attorney to join its Justice Defenders Program for a one year legal fellowship. Candidates with substantial experience working on issues pertaining to human rights are encouraged to apply. All applicants must have authorization to work in the United States. The ABA does not sponsor visas.

1) Background

The Justice Defenders Program provides pro bono legal assistance to human rights advocates working in difficult environments and vulnerable circumstances by:

· Advising on, and raising public awareness of, sensitive trials and cases;

· Connecting pro bono lawyers with requisite expertise with local lawyers to provide advice on international law standards, share best practices, and assist in developing advocacy and litigation strategies; and

· Observing trials that have garnered local, regional, or international attention and/or have the potential of changing the law, for better or worse, within the country, and providing analysis of those trials.

The Justice Defenders Program’s global reach enables it to help human rights defenders in virtually any country. The Program is sensitive to varied political and factual circumstances and its assistance is tailored to realities “on the ground.” With experienced staff and a dynamic network of pro bono lawyers at the ready, the Program can respond rapidly to acute crises or take on long-term projects as needed.

The staff attorney will report directly to the Deputy Director of the Justice Defenders Program.

Responsibilities shall include:

1) Case Management: The staff attorney shall assist regional staff attorney leads in vetting potential cases, conduct preliminary assessments of legal issues, support regional staff attorneys in the observation of trials and the coordination of the provision of pro bono legal assistance.

2) Research and Writing: The staff attorney will provide support to regional staff attorneys by conducting legal and other research and writing memoranda, and articles,including for publication. The staff attorney shall analyze laws, regulations, policies, and court rules and provide substantive advice and information to the regional attorneys to whom they report.

3) Other duties as assigned: The staff attorney will support regional staff attorneys in a range of duties relating to case strategy, management, advocacy and other matters regarding the execution of case work.

Staff attorneys shall be expected to begin immediately, and no later than one (1) month after notification of their successful application.


The successful candidate(s) must have:

JD and bar admission in at least one jurisdiction; 0-3 years legal experience; Outstanding communication skills, excellent organization skills and ability to exercise independent judgment. May occasionally conduct attorney trainings and/or plan/host conferences


Licenses, Registrations

JD; active admission to the bar in at least one jurisdiction may be required in some cases.

Physical Requirements, if applicable

Some travel required.

Compensation shall be commensurate with experience.

About the Organization

The Rule of Law Initiative is a public service project of the American Bar Association dedicated to promoting legal reform efforts in over 40 countries around the world. The Rule of Law Initiative believes that rule of law promotion is the most effective long-term antidote to the most pressing problems facing the world community today, including poverty, economic stagnation, and crippling levels of corruption. The Rule of Law Initiative concentrates its technical legal assistance efforts in the following substantive areas: 1) Anti-corruption & public integrity; 2) Criminal law & combating trafficking in persons; 3) Gender issues; 4) Human rights & conflict mitigation; 5) Judicial reform; 6) Legal education reform; and 7) Legal profession reform. The Rule of Law Initiative enlists talented individuals who possess the skills and commitment necessary to effectively promote the rule of law in our host countries. We regularly seek experienced attorneys, judges, and law professors interested in lending their expertise to our programs for both long- and short-term pro bono assignments overseas. For more information please visit our website at www.abarol.org.

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