Social Justice Institute Fellowship in Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative

Start Date: September 1, 2012 

Location: New York City 


The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. CCR seeks highly qualified and committed applicants to apply for a two year Fellowship as part of a newly created Social Justice Institute (SJI). The SJI Fellow will work in CCR’s Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative docket area. The Fellowship commences September 1, 2012.

About the Social Justice  Institute Fellowship:

Since 1987, CCR has trained the next generation of “people’s lawyers” through a variety of internships and fellowships, including its renowned Ella Baker Summer Internship Program. Through these programs, law students and newer lawyers assist CCR attorneys with casework and research while taking part in trainings and educational seminars with activists and scholars. The Social Justice Institute is an umbrella program through which our fellowships and internships will be coordinated and housed.

Roles & Responsibilities:

This SJI Fellow will be part of CCR’s Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative (GGJI) legal team and work alongside a number of staff attorneys. Since 2002, the Center for Constitutional Rights has been at the forefront in challenging extrajudicial detention, torture and abuse in Guantánamo and related domestic and international outposts of the executive branch’s “war on terror.” This Fellow will work with CCR staff to continue and broaden CCR’s efforts – through litigation and advocacy – to challenge executive branch practices premised on expansive conceptions of wartime executive authority, as well as long-standing racism and xenophobia, including indefinite and preventive detention, military commissions, targeted killings, abusive interrogations, and abusive government practices in implementing “war on terror” policies domestically. For descriptions of some representative cases that are a part of the GGJI docket, please see the Illegal Detentions and Guantánamo work.

Responsibilities of the SJI Fellow will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Provide legal research and analysis and develop theories to support new and existing litigation projects and non-litigation advocacy projects.
  • Conduct factual investigation.
  • Draft pleadings, affidavits, motions, and briefs.
  • Participate in discovery and trial practice and communications with opposing counsel.
  • Provide support and assistance to CCR cooperating attorneys.
  • Engage in public speaking and media interviews and attend meetings and/or conferences as needed.

Experience & Qualifications:

  • 0-3 years experience.
  • J.D. degree as of start date.
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of CCR.
  • A demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding.
  • Excellent research, writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Self-starter with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law and creativity in crafting strategies to advance human rights and accountability.
  • Commitment to working in and with underserved communities.
  • Integrity and a sense of humor.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Willingness to apply for a security clearance.
  • Non-English language skills a plus.


Salary is generous, commensurate with experience and in accordance with CCR’s collectively bargained salary scale. Benefits include pension plan, escalating vacation beginning with three weeks, sick leave, holidays, and 100% organization paid health benefits for employees including medical, dental, life and long-term disability insurance.

How to Apply: 

Qualified candidates should send a cover letter explaining interest in the SJI Fellowship at CCR and in the GGJI docket specifically; resume; legal writing sample; and three references to SJI Fellowship, Center for Constitutional Rights via email, with “SJI Fellowship Search – GGJI” in the subject line.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and strong consideration will be given to early applications.

Applications are due by March 2, 2012. No phone calls please.