Social Justice Institute Fellowship in International Human Rights

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 International Human Rights 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 International Human Rights (IHR) legal team and work alongside a number of staff attorneys. Specific focuses have included the integration of international human rights and humanitarian law into claims brought in U.S.courts and pressing the U.S.government and private actors to abide by international law. Substantive areas of specialization will likely include: cases and advocacy against multinational corporations and government officials for serious human rights or humanitarian law violations, international women’s rights and gender justice, and the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights. For descriptions of representative cases that are a part of the IHR docket, please see the International Law and Accountability and Corporate Human Rights Abuses 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.
  • Work with community groups, clients, and witnesses.
  • Participate in discovery and trial practice.
  • 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, including racial, gender and economic rights.
  • Commitment to working in and with underserved communities.
  • Integrity and a sense of humor.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • 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 IHR docket specifically; resume; legal writing sample; and three references to: SJI Fellowship, Center for Constitutional Rights, via e-mail, with “SJI Fellowship Search IHR” 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.