Latin America Staff Attorney

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 29

Position description

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights seeks a Staff Attorney in the International Advocacy & Litigation program to support the organization’s work on Latin America partnering with human rights defenders to protect civic space through advocacy, strategic litigation, and technical assistance.

International Advocacy & Litigation Program:

Our team of lawyers and issue experts collaborate with partners around the world to create lasting legal change. Through legal advocacy, we have freed political prisoners, defended the rule of law in autocratic regimes and amplified the voices of human rights defenders in the United States and abroad. We present the annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, which recognizes a courageous individual whose activism reflects Robert Kennedy’s belief that every individual can make a difference. The award’s recipients enter multi-year partnerships with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, anchoring our advocacy work and strengthening the activists’ ability to make gentler the life of the world.

 Job Responsibilities:

  • Assisting in the development and implementing an advocacy and litigation agenda for the protection of civic space in Latin America and the Caribbean in support of local human rights defenders and movements;
  • Day to day management of a docket of 8-12 strategic litigation cases before the Inter-American and universal human rights bodies, including managing client, partner, and co-counsel relationships; fact-finding and building an evidentiary basis for litigation; drafting briefs and legal submissions; preparing oral arguments; monitoring implementation of decisions;
  • Managing current and establishing new relationships with advocacy and litigation partners and other human rights defenders in Latin America to ensure Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights efforts support their vision and goals;
  • Writing and publicizing reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to regional and international bodies, as well as presenting human rights concerns and other advocacy before government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and in the media; 
  • Liaising effectively with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights staff and affiliates located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and collaboration; support other staff and affiliates to address civic space or Latin American or Caribbean-based issues in their work; 
  • Supervising and mentoring incoming interns 
  • Assisting with the organization’s fundraising efforts; 
  • Traveling domestically and internationally up to one or two weeks at a time, several times a year; 
  • Working flexible hours as needed to accommodate developing and urgent events; 
  • Do your part in keeping our operations running smoothly - tracking your hours and submitting timecards in a timely manner; and
  • Carrying out any other duties as required.


  • Education: J.D. or foreign equivalent required;
  • Experience: A minimum of 5 years experience in human rights advocacy and litigation; 
  • Authorization to work in the United States required; 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and fluency in English and Spanish;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team to develop and implement realistic and effective local and international advocacy strategies and tactics in order to identify and seize advocacy opportunities;
  • Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically to identify opportunities for increased impact beyond assigned tasks; 
  • Ability to produce high-quality written material under tight deadlines; 
  • Excellent editing skills;
  • Dynamic public speaking ability; 
  • Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively across cultural dynamics within Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights as well as with clients, local partners, government officials, and media partners; 
  • Inclusive: you are excited to work with colleagues with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives from your own.

Preferred but not required qualifications:

  • Professional competency speaking and writing in Portuguese is a plus;
  • Human rights litigation experience before domestic courts and/or regional or universal human rights bodies;
  • Advocacy experience leveraging, e.g. US foreign policy, intergovernmental bodies, and/or public-facing campaigns;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further advocacy goals;
  • Solid field research and documentation skills.

You are welcomed here...

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer and believes we are stronger and more effective by working internally and externally with people of all abilities, diverse backgrounds, and a range of perspectives, particularly those who have historically been marginalized or underrepresented. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We do not discriminate in our hiring practices and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seek a diverse applicant pool. 


Benefits and other Perks:

  • Flexibility and independent to help manage your work and home life: Staff have the ability to work from home or telecommute;
  • We value your health: RFK Human Rights covers 100% of individual-only costs of our platinum medical, dental, vision benefits and subsidize the cost for dependent coverage;
  • We understand the importance of financial planning and saving we provide: 
  • an automatic contribution of 7% of your salary after your first of employment;
  • A College Saveup/Loan PayDown program with an automatic $100/monthly contribution for any current loans or future loans;
  • An automatic monthly cell phone stipend to offset any phone expenses. 
  • We love to celebrate human rights advocates and our hard work! We do so by hosting award ceremonies, galas, summer outings, holiday parties, virtual happy hours, potlucks, staff retreats, and spur-of-the-moment social outings.

Application instructions

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