17 Best Ways to Work as Human Right Attorney

Human Right Attorney: Human rights lawyers advocate on behalf of people suffering from persecution, abuse, and civil rights violations in every country of the world.

Using the governments and courts as forums to seek justice for victims, human rights attorneys are both legal professionals and activists.

You may work with non-profit agencies like Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Watch, or Amnesty International; or join a rights-focused private law firm.

Opportunities are world-wide, but the United States is a good place to receive your education and start your career.

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Human Right Attorney: https://onlineattorney.org
Human Right Attorney

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Human Right Attorney

1. Apply for a passport.

 Human rights law can take you to the far corners of the globe.

Even if you spend your career closer to home, your studies will give you the opportunity for international studies, internships, and conferences.

Getting a passport can take up to several months.

Apply while you are starting college and be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

2. Attend college and earn an undergraduate degree.

A Juris Doctor is a graduate degree. Before you can attend law school.

You must have an undergraduate degree.

The Nigerian Bar Association does not require or recommend any particular field of study to prepare you for law school.

A liberal arts degree with a diverse field of study including history, philosophy, sociology, and literature will give you a solid basis for a career in human rights law.

  • Law school admittance, especially at elite schools, is heavily dependent on your grade point average. Concentrate on a field of study where you will excel.
  • If you want a human rights career outside the United States, you should consider adding foreign language classes to your curriculum. Learning to speak French and Spanish will broaden your skills and make you competitive for internships and employment in human rights law organizations.
  • If you study outside the United States and intend to go to a domestic law school, you will submit your transcripts through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service for evaluating your credits for application to law school.

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3. Create a financial aid plan.

While you are in college, you need to be thinking about how you will finance your legal education.

Law school can easily cost between $50,000 and $150,000 for your three-year degree.

  • Learn about financial aid resources for graduate students.Most students finance their law degree with loans. This is not an option to undertake lightly. Learn about the loan options and repayment plans available to you. Federal student loans include income-based repayment plans.Public interest lawyers may also be eligible for loan forgiveness, based on your career path.
  • Excelling in your undergraduate studies puts you in a good position for law school scholarships.

Human Right Attorney

4. Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

The LSAT is one of the factors law schools use in assessing applicants.

The test is offered several times a year and tests basic skills that help measure your likelihood of success in law school.

You will be tested in reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logic.

There is also a writing sample that is submitted to law schools with your test scores.

Human Right Attorney

5. Research law schools with strong human rights programs.

Any of the 200+ law schools accredited by the American Bar Association will qualify you to sit for the bar exam in all states.

 However, choosing a school with a strong concentration in Human Rights.

And International Law will help you hone your interests, gain experience, and make connections for your future career.

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6. Apply to law school.

Most law schools have an application fee of $20 to $50.

Because of this expense, you need to prioritize your resources and select schools that match your interests, credentials (GPA/LSAT scores), financial resources, and acceptance rates.

Since a career in human rights law can take you anywhere in the world.

where you go to school is less important than a good fit.

Human Right Attorney

7. Earn your Juris Doctor degree.

A J.D. degree is award after successful completion of a three-year law school program.

Your school will have its own requirements for number of credits and GPA.

Most students take three years, but most schools offer part-time programs for working students and accelerated options for graduation in 2 1/2 years.

  • Join student organizations interested in civil and human rights.
  • The International Law Students Association is a good place to meet like-minded classmates.
  • Take full advantage of law school programs. Participate in clinics and programs with civil rights and human rights activities.
  • Seek out summer internships with civil rights organizations. Even if you go to school in an area that doesn’t have an international presence, you can gain experience with organizations that work for civil rights, voting rights, domestic violence, and economic justice.

8. Consider a study abroad program.

Your law school will likely have programs allowing you to study abroad for a summer, a semester, or a year.

This is an excellent chance for you to work on your language skills.

Expand your cultural experiences, and make contacts for your future career.

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Human Right Attorney

9. Pass the bar examination and be admitted to a state bar.

Once you graduate with your law degree, you are eligible to sit for the bar exam.

The examination is given twice per year and is required to practice law in the United States.

  • Bar admission includes a background check to see if the applicant exhibits the necessary character and fitness for the practice of law.
  • Students from international law schools may be able to seek admission to practice in the United States.
  • Contact the state bar examiner for instructions.
  • The bar exam varies somewhat from state to state, but is general two to three days and includes the multi-state skills exam, the essay exam, and the multi-state ethics exam.
  • Upon successful passing of the bar examination, you will take the lawyer’s oath and be ready to practice law.

Human Right Attorney

10. List Human Rights organizations that interest you.

The field of human rights can range from helping overturn wrongful convictions to helping women seek refuge from violence.

Cast a wide net and gather the contact information for as many organizations as fit your interests.

11. Research law firms that work in human rights.

Using the information you gathered in law school and through online searches.

Create a list of law firms that practice in your specialty of human rights. 

This can range from organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, to large international firms working on economic justice cases around the world.

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12. Arrange informational interviews.

A great way to find out whether an organization is a good fit for you and build a network in human rights law is to conduct information interviews.

Arrange to meet with people who work in human rights organizations, NGOs, or law firms.

13. Consider working in the country.

London is a center of the global human rights movement.

Many companies, law firms, and non-governmental organizations have offices in and around London. 

There are opportunities for lawyers to practice American law.

While gathering the skills needed to qualify for admittance to the English courts.

Human Right Attorney

14. Build your resume.

The career center of your law school may have assistance with resume writing.

As a new graduate, you may not have a lot of professional experience.

List all of your education, your student organizations, clinics, internships, and academic achievements.

15. Consider applying for internships.

Many organizations have internship programs. Most are unpaid or low-paying.

However, the experience and contacts can be invaluable.

 Internships with high profile organizations are very competitive and you should apply as early as possible.

  • If you belong to a church, check for mission and internship opportunities with the church’s charity or legal arm.

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Human Right Attorney

16. Apply for jobs with organizations and law firms.

Whether you land an internship or seek interim employment, begin searching for a permanent position.

Most organizations and law firms have online application procedures.

  • Create a dedicated email address with your name, as in [firstmiddlelastname]@mailservice.com. You can use free sites like Gmail that can be accessed from any computer or smartphone. Do not use a “cute” email address like “funnymonky@mailservice.com” for professional correspondence
  • Do not rely on a “message phone.” Even if you use a pre-paid service, you need to have your own phone number with voicemail.
  • Follow the directions on the site to the letter. Submit your documents exactly as requested. Do not attach files to an email unless directed.
  • Name your documents files so they identify you. Do not create “mycoolresume.pdf.” Name your files [Last name][resume/letter].filetype.

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Human Right Attorney

17. Search a wide area.

Most Human Rights organizations are headquartered on the east coast or in major cities.

However, other smaller organizations working for everything from voting rights to domestic violence are located in less populated areas.

An advantage here may be a lower cost of living while you are gaining experience.

Match your interests to the organization, not just a location.

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