Associate Legal Officer

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Nov 17

Position description

Associate Legal Officer, Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, Deadline: 12/30/2018

To apply, please submit a CV and Cover letter. In your Cover letter, you should explain your interest and motivation for applying.

The Open Society Foundations promotes vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to all rights holders.

The Justice Initiative, part of the Open Society Foundations, uses strategic litigation and other kinds of legal advocacy to defend and promote the rule of law, and to advance human rights. We employ litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance across a range of issues. We pursue accountability for international crimes, support criminal justice reforms, strengthen human rights institutions, combat discrimination and statelessness, challenge abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, defend civic space, foster freedom of information and expression, confront corruption and promote economic justice. In this work, we collaborate with a community of dedicated and skillful human rights advocates across the globe, and form part of a dynamic and progressive justice movement that reflects the diversity of the world. More information on the Justice Initiative and its activities can be found at www.justiceinitiative.org .

In the sphere of equality and inclusion, the Justice Initiative works to implement legal norms and transform public discourse on equality. The Justice challenges discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, class, gender, legal status, national origin and religion. Thematic areas of work include policing, education, employment, housing, migration, citizenship, and documentation of identity. We use community legal empowerment, research and data collection, advocacy, litigation, and strengthening civil society to obtain remedies for discrimination.
Job profile

We are recruiting for an Associate Legal Officer to join our Equality and Inclusion team and be based out of New York or Berlin. The Associate Legal Officer will report to the Senior Managing Legal Officer for Equality and Inclusion.

We are looking for a candidate with practical experience combining litigation, community engagement, policy advocacy and strategic communications, among other tools, to enforce legal norms and bring about substantive equality. The ALO will be part of a team of diverse, compassionate, and committed professionals with a common drive to think creatively about how to use law and legal remedies.

Essential duties and responsibilities include:
  • Provide legal advice and subject-matter knowledge to team members and partners within/outside OSF; evaluate issues and cases for potential involvement
  • Engage in litigation, including client care and community engagement, researching, drafting, and pleading
  • Build relationships with civil society partners, affected communities, institutional officials, academics and OSF colleagues working on issues of equality and inclusion
  • Design and support advocacy campaigns
  • Manage project activities, including administrative tasks related to developing, executing, monitoring and reporting on project-related service agreements and grants
  • Contribute to strategic planning at the team and organizational level
Candidate profile
  • Law degree, and three to seven years' post-qualification experience, including familiarity with using law to counter discrimination/discriminatory practices
  • Practical experience in the fields of nationality law, migrants' rights and statelessness highly desirable
  • Experience with civil society groups and affected communities working to challenge discrimination, using law, capacity-building, community organising and campaigning; practical experience of working with communities facing social, cultural and/or economic exclusion highly desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct research, write and edit a range of different materials including reports, legal documents, blogs and submissions for different audiences
  • Experience in developing strong relationships with a wide range of actors from diverse cultural, geographic, economic, political, and social contexts
  • Proficiency in English, with strong written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency in at least one additional language highly desirable
  • Project management, including the ability to gather evidence and research to inform strategies, work plans, activities and internal results assessment
  • Experience with developing and running efficient processes, systems, and workflows to ensure well-run projects and operations
  • Experience with record keeping, budgeting management and finance administration highly desirable
  • Excellent political judgment and the proven ability to develop and carry out innovative advocacy strategies
  • Strong analytic and organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and networking skills, with a proven ability to work as part of a multi-cultural team
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment
  • Extensive travel


Suitable candidates of migrant or minority background and those from communities affected by these issues are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please submit a CV and Cover letter. In your Cover letter, you should explain your interest and motivation for applying.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.
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