Staff Attorney- Sub-Saharan Africa

American Bar Association Center for Human Rights
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 05

Position description

The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights is seeking an experienced staff attorney to join its Justice Defenders Program. Candidates with substantial experience living and working in Africa are encouraged to apply. All applicants must have authorization to work in the United States. The ABA does not sponsor visas. 


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. 

Undertakes substantive legal work for a grant funded project or provides substantive support and expertise to an ABA entity. Supervised by a more senior attorney or experienced professional. Includes research, writing, and speaking. May have supervisory duties of non-attorney staff. 


Doctoral Degree (JD, PhD) 


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

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

The American Bar Association is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. 

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter