Chief Counsel/Senior Program Manager

American Bar Association Center for Human Rights
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 02

Position description

The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights is seeking a human rights attorney with experience supervising attorneys to join its Justice Defenders Program as Chief Counsel to the Center and Senior Program Manager to the Justice Defenders Program. Candidates with substantial experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean and/or the Middle East and North Africa are preferred. Experience working on international labor or business and human rights is also strongly preferred. 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.

The Senior Program Manager will report directly to the Director of the Justice Defenders Program.

Responsibilities shall include:

Supervision/Case Management: The Senior Program Manager shall supervise 1-2 staff attorneys coordinating the provision of pro bono assistance and conducting trial observations. He/she will provide strategic guidance on advocacy activities, ensure compliance with relevant policies and track the budget for the region(s).

Program Development: The Senior Program Manager shall manage the Center’s pro bono network, assist in program design and the development of proposals, participate in donor relations, and oversee monitoring and evaluation of grant activities.

Please note Program staff are expected to travel up to 25% of the time. The Senior Program Manager shall be expected to begin immediately, and no later than one (1) month after notification of their successful application.

The successful candidate(s) will have: a) a minimum of 6 years of legal experience, post-graduation (J.D. or equivalent), b) a minimum of three (3) years of program management experience; c) relevant experience in one of the preferred regional or thematic areas; d) an abilityto communicate effectively, in writing and orally, with a range of different audiences; and e) strong interpersonal skills in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Foreign language fluency preferred. J.D. or equivalent degree is required.

Compensation shall be commensurate with experience.

Applicants should upload a detailed cover letter, resume or CV, three references, and legal writing sample.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter