Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Legal Fellowship

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Legal Fellowship 2016

Deadline: Ongoing

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is currently accepting applications from students and recent graduates interested in applying to Equal Justice Works, Soros, Skadden, or other post-graduate public interest fellowships and seeking a fellowship host. The Legal fellowships are based in Washington D.C.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights was founded as a living memorial to Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Ever since, it has honored journalists, authors, and human rights activists who, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, are on the frontlines of the international movement for human rights and social justice.


Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct factual research and draft memoranda on the human rights situation in countries of interest to the Center and on thematic issues (e.g., the right to freedom of expression, right to nationality);
  • Conduct research on the application of international human rights norms to country conditions, developments in the domestic legal systems of specific countries and their implications for human rights, and other questions;
  • Prepare documents in support of litigation before international tribunals (e.g. Inter-American Human Rights System, African Human Rights System, UN Treaty Bodies), and in support of advocacy before governments, international organizations, and U.N. special procedures;
  • Help maintain and manage communication with clients, human rights defenders, and civil society partners around the world in support of joint litigation and advocacy;
  • Attend and report on briefings, Congressional hearings, symposia, and other meetings;
  • Monitor sources of information on countries and issues of concern to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and collect, organize, and analyze relevant research;
  • Work closely with programmatic staff to develop long-term strategies, legal actions, and advocacy campaigns;
  • Provide administrative support to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights staff on an as-needed basis.


  • The ideal candidate will have:
    • Experience with regional and international human rights law and norms;
    • Working knowledge of the United Nations system and/or the regional human rights mechanisms (e.g. Inter-American Human Rights System, African Human Rights System, etc.);
    • Working knowledge of domestic legislative and human rights policy;
    • An ability to maintain active contacts with civil society as well as key stakeholder;
    • An ability to master complex human rights issues under tight deadlines; and excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • A Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree (or foreign equivalent) is required;
  • Fluency in Spanish, French, and/or Arabic is helpful but not required.

Application Process

If interested, please e-mail to submit the following materials:

  • Cover letter explaining your interest in working with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and including a description of the nature of your funding source;
  • Resume;
  • Brief writing sample (preferably related to international human rights law);
  • List of three references

Applications are considered on a rolling basis; most fellowships begin in September and last for one year, but other arrangements can be made where needed.

For more information, visit Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Legal Fellowship.