Program Officer, Civil Society Engagement

International Senior Lawyers Project
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 03

Position description

About International Senior Lawyers Project: Founded in 2000, International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) is an independent non-profit organization that mobilizes top-tier pro bono legal services to advance the rule of law and international development that is more sustainable, inclusive, and accountable. Our clients comprise governments, civil society actors, and social enterprises in the Global South. Practice areas include: natural resources management; investment and trade; taxation; accountability and transparency/anti-bribery and anti-corruption; community-inclusive development; media law and freedom of expression; and social enterprises and innovative finance.  

Position Summary

The Program Officer will contribute directly to ISLP’s mission and program objectives, particularly as they relate to civil society organizations and social enterprises engagement involving key practice areas including accountability and transparency, community-inclusive development, natural resource management, and innovative finance and social enterprises. The Program Officer will be responsible for supporting and managing projects to facilitate pro bono legal services to international and locally-led civil society organizations in the Global South, with a focus on Latin America and Africa, that advocate for sound environmental and social standards in large-scale development projects and for the protection of Indigenous community land rights and natural ecosystems. They will also manage ISLP's growing project portfolio that provides legal support to social enterprises and innovative investment initiatives that are advancing local solutions in areas such as access to clean energies (e.g., mini solar grids), sustainable agriculture, health innovations, women’s economic empowerment, and sustainable finance, also in the Global South. 

The Program Officer will report to and collaborate closely with the Director of Civil Society Engagement, and will have dedicated support, strategic guidance, and mentorship on the social enterprise portfolio from a board member advisor. The ideal Program Officer will value the challenge and rewards of fast-paced mission-driven project management, working directly with a spectrum of stakeholders in different countries, and engaging substantively on consequential matters impacting economic development and the rule of law. 

Key Responsibilities  

Project Management and Development 

  • Manage pro bono legal projects from initial scoping through implementation and evaluation, working closely with volunteer lawyers and civil society organizations, and social enterprise clients throughout the duration of  pro bono engagements;
  • Work closely with prospective civil society organizations and social enterprise clients to identify legal needs and craft responsive, impactful, and achievable scopes of work for ISLP projects; 
  • Screen potential projects for suitability, feasibility and fit within ISLP mandate; 
  • Identify and facilitate appropriate volunteer placements that suit project needs, cultivating and engaging ISLP’s network of volunteer lawyers; 
  • Research and prepare project proposals and grant applications, including narrative and budgets;  
  • Review and/or prepare documentation such as terms of reference, memoranda of understanding, engagement letters;
  • Regularly communicate with clients and volunteer attorneys to ensure proper and timely project  implementation;  
  • Evaluate and report on projects using relevant monitoring and evaluation processes and metrics;
  • Provide support and oversight as needed for programming activities such as webinars or workshops.  

Support and Drive Organization Priorities  

  • Participate in weekly calls with ISLP team to coordinate prospective and ongoing projects and  activities; 
  • Contribute substantive content for ISLP publications and communications;  
  • Conduct and/or supervise research regarding potential new jurisdictions and project development;  
  • Participate and contribute to fundraising initiatives including drafting and editing grant proposals and grant narratives;  
  • Edit reports and memoranda for Board of Directors and external partners; 
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field and participate in relevant webinars and professional  conferences/webinars to advance institutional expertise and organization’s profile; and 
  • Other related duties as they may be assigned. 

Qualifications, Skills & Experience 

  • An advanced degree in law or other discipline relevant to ISLP’s work (e.g., international development, economics, sustainable development, public policy, international affairs).
  • Minimum 3-5 years work experience in a related subject matter area and with demonstrated project management experience.
  • Excellent professional written and oral communication skills in English and Spanish. 
  • Sound judgment, strong analytical skills, and polished drafting. 
  • Superb organizational skills and adaptability, including attention to detail and ability to effectively  manage projects  and prioritize among and meet competing deadlines..
  • Experience working/interacting with civil society organizations and/or social enterprises in the Global South is especially helpful.
  • Experience with corporate law, particularly project finance, merger and acquisitions, and/or private equity, is preferred. 
  • Understanding of and commitment to ISLP’s mission and to sustainable economic development.
  • Cultural competence, integrity, and a diplomatic personality, adept at working effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies. 
  • Collegiality, professionalism, and good nature, an earnest sense of collaboration, adaptability, and resourcefulness.
  • Ability to travel internationally if required for project development, implementation, or monitoring and evaluation.   


This is a full-time exempt status position with an annual salary of USD $70,000. ISLP is not able to sponsor visas to work in the US.

Application instructions

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