Bertha Legal Fellow at EarthRights International

EarthRights International, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, is seeking a recent U.S. law graduate for a fellowship in our Washington, D.C., office.

Description: EarthRights International (ERI) is now seeking applications for the position of 2016-2018 U.S. Bertha Legal Fellow. Under the guidance and direction of the Americas Regional Program Director & General Counsel, the Fellow will work with other ERI attorneys to develop and implement legal strategies to protect human rights and the environment. The Fellow will be based out of ERI’s U.S. office in Washington, D.C., but may work in coordination with legal staff in other country offices in Peru and Southeast Asia.

The basic job responsibilities include:

  • Legal research on US law, international law, and other legal regimes
  • Preparation of legal memorandums, court briefs and filings for US and other legal systems
  • Work in collaboration with other NGOs and communities assist in the development of legal and advocacy strategies
  • Research on new legal strategies to defend the human rights and environment of vulnerable communities
  • Communication of ERI’s work through web content and media contacts
  • Policy advocacy with the US legislative and executive branches

The Legal Fellow may also be asked to:

  • Travel domestically to court hearings
  • Travel internationally to meet with victims, communities and NGOs
  • Collaborate on ERI publications and assist in ERI events
  • Assist other ERI programs as needed

Qualifications:   The ideal candidate will have:

  • A recent U.S. law degree (including a recent LL.M. degree for foreign law graduates) and either admission to the bar of a U.S. state or an application in process
  • A demonstrated commitment to using the U.S. legal system to serve vulnerable communities and protect human rights and the environment
  • A background in international human rights law, international environmental law, and/or indigenous peoples’ rights
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Good judgment and initiative
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in teams
  • Effective task management
  • Experience or interest in working with people from diverse cultures
  • A good sense of humor

Additional desired qualifications include:

  • Knowledge and experience with regional and international legal mechanisms for the protection of human rights and the environment
  • Experience with U.S. litigation
  • Proficiency in one or more languages other than English, especially Spanish, Burmese, Thai, Portuguese, French, and/or Chinese
  • Experience in regional studies, development, environmental sciences, or other fields related to issues of human rights, environmental protection and indigenous peoples

We offer:

  • a competitive, non-profit sector, fellowship salary
  • medical and dental insurance coverage
  • retirement fund contribution
  • paid vacation, sick and personal days
  • a casual, and fun, work environment

Duration: Full-time for 2 years beginning in January 2016 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

To apply: Candidates should send an email to [email protected] with the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume or CV (no longer than 2 pages)
  • List three references with phone numbers and email addresses
  • 3-5 pages of sample or extract from a piece of legal writing without editing

You must use the subject line "January 2016 U.S. Legal Fellow" in the email.

We will acknowledge applications received, and will contact those candidates selected for the interview stage.

The U.S. Legal Fellowship is supported by the generosity of the Bertha Foundation.

EarthRights International is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices. For more information on the work of EarthRights International visit

Job title: Bertha Legal Fellow (paid, two years full-time

Location: Washington, DC

Closing date: 15 December 2015