Fellow – International Human Rights and Access to Justice Program

POSITION TITLE: Fellow – International Human Rights and Access to Justice Program

DEPARTMENT: Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice

POSITION REPORTS TO: Human Rights Program Director

The Vance Center advances global justice by engaging lawyers across borders to support civil society and an ethically active legal profession. The Vance Center is a unique collaboration of international lawyers catalyzing public interest innovation. A non-profit program of the New York City Bar Association, we bring together leading law firms and other partners worldwide to pioneer international justice initiatives and provide pro bono legal representation to social justice NGOs.

The Human Rights and Access to Justice Program protects individuals from discrimination, violence, injustice, and corruption and supports international human rights bodies committed to such protection. The program partners with local organizations and engages in projects related to advocacy and capacity building at the local, regional and international levels in furtherance of these goals. Through the Human Rights Program, the Vance Center assists NGOs worldwide on a variety of human rights issues such as violence against women, LGBT rights, prison conditions, rights of afro-descendants, and refugees. The Human Rights program is also engaged in a global project to study the causes, conditions and consequences of women incarceration. In addition, the program includes a Business and Human Rights initiative where we are assisting NGOs in the United States and abroad with research and advocacy on business and human rights and contribute to sharing best practices in this area.
The Program undertakes research and analysis into complex international and comparative law issues to assist clients with advocacy, training, legislative reform, and international and regional human rights litigation. Our clients include U.S. based NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as well as local NGOs abroad, in Latin American and in Africa. The Vance Center recruits private law firms from the Vance Center Committee to work alongside our program staff on the projects. However, Program staff also engage in substantive legal work, including legal research and analysis, advocacy, and litigation.


The Human Rights Fellow will be an integral part of the Human Rights Program and is expected to work on all aspects of the Program. This role will be under the supervision of the Human Rights Program Director


  • Conduct research and analysis on international human rights law and in some cases, domestic laws.
  • Research and write background papers on countries where the Program is looking to engage.
  • o Research and contact new clients, particularly human rights NGOs in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
  • Engage with clients and law firms.
  • Assist in coordinating and managing projects.
  • Draft materials for publication on the Program’s activities, cases, or current events.
  • Plan and organize events, in the United States and abroad.
  • Undertake some administrative duties.


  • J.D. or LLM graduate. Specialization in International Human Rights Law or Public International Law is a plus.
  • 1-2 years experience in International Human Rights or Public International Law.
  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills.
  • Fluency in English. Fluency in Spanish or Portuguese is highly desirable.
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills and great attention to detail.
  • Ability to work quickly and well under pressure, to juggle multiple tasks, and to meet tight deadlines.
  • Excellent computer skills.
  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.


Please email a resume, a short writing sample on an international human rights issue, and a list of three references to vancevolunteers@nycbar.org. In the subject line please write "Human Rights Program Fellow". Applications will be considered as received and selection will take place on a rolling basis. The deadline for applications is July 26th. No phone calls please.

The Cyrus R. Vance Center is a proud equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. It is the policy of the Organization to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability, arrest or conviction record, pregnancy, credit history, salary history, caregiver status, marital status, partnership status, or status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses, religion, sex, genetic information, military status, unemployment status or any other characteristic as protected by law. With regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act and other related laws, the Organization will endeavor to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.