The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights is the ABA’s focal entity for critical human rights concerns in the United States and around the world. The ABA Center for Human Rights (the Center) works to promote and protect human rights worldwide by mobilizing lawyers to help threatened advocates and vulnerable communities; rallying leading experts on vital issues; and holding abusive governments accountable under law.

The Center is seeking experienced legal interns or externs to work closely with our legal advisors, human rights groups, and pro bono attorneys to provide legal assistance to human rights defenders who are the subject of harassment in retaliation for their advocacy efforts. The intern/extern will gain invaluable insight into international human rights law and advocacy.

Depending on the needs of the Center at the time and the interest and experience of the intern/extern, the student may be assigned to any of the following projects and teams. Please indicate your regional and/or project preference in your cover letter.

  • Justice Defenders Program: Mobilizing the global legal community to support human rights defenders around the world who face retaliation for their work. Intern/extern would be assigned to one of five regional teams (Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa) or to our labor rights portfolio.
  • Center Initiatives: Atrocity Crimes Initiative, Proxy Warfare Project, and Business & Human Rights Initiative. Intern/extern would support the Center’s Director and/or Associate Director on one or multiple of these Center-wide projects in partnership with Center Board members.

This may be a fully remote, virtual internship or a hybrid/in-person opportunity, depending upon ABA policy at the start of the internship regarding in-person work, the intern’s location, and the intern’s comfort level with in-person work. This is an unpaid opportunity.The Center can support externship requirements for applicants seeking school credit.

The intern/extern is expected to begin in early January 2023 for a 12-to-16-week internship period. Intern/extern is expected to commit 10 to 20 hours per week to this part-time opportunity. Application deadline is November 18, 2022.

Interns/Externs should expect to do several of the following tasks:

Basic Qualifications:

  • or a recent (less than one year) graduate of a JD or LLM at an U.S.-based institution.

How to Apply: