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Aryeh Neier Justice Initiative Fellowship

March 24, 2019

The Open Society Justice Initiative, a program of the Open Society Foundations, is pleased to invite applications for its 2020-2021 Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program. The deadline for applications is March 24, 2019.

The Open Society Foundations works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. The Justice Initiative, an operational program of Open Society, uses litigation and other forms of legal advocacy to empower people, defend the rule of law, and advance human rights. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, we promote and defend accountability for international crimes, combat racial discrimination and statelessness, support criminal justice reform, challenge abuses related to national security and counterterrorism initiatives, expand access to and exercise of freedom of information and expression, and confront corruption linked to the exploitation of natural resources. To our activities we bring deep and varied practice of litigation and other forms of legal advocacy, familiarity with legal and related political fora, substantive knowledge of human rights issues, and issue- and place-specific expertise and experience. We collaborate with a community of dedicated and skillful human rights advocates across the globe, and form part of a dynamic and progressive justice movement that reflects the diversity of the world it inhabits. More information on the Justice Initiative and its activities can be found at www.justiceinitiative.org.

The Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program

The Aryeh Neier Justice Initiative Fellowship is a full-time, two-year program that offers lawyers and other advocates the opportunity to gain practical experience in international human rights advocacy across a broad range of thematic areas and geographies, embedding them as an integral part of the global Justice Initiative team.

Fellows work across the Justice Initiative’s core thematic areas including Accountability, Liberty and Transparency, Criminal Justice, Equality & Inclusion, and Rule of Law as well as cross-cutting initiatives as carried out by our Advocacy and Legal Empowerment teams.

In order to ensure a rich and varied experience, the selected fellows will rotate, on an annual basis, through two different teams during their fellowship terms.  Placement into specific teams will be decided according to anticipated program needs and priorities of the Justice Initiative, taking account as practicable of the interests and preferences of the selected fellow.

Fellows can expect to conduct research on a broad range of justice-related issues; draft reports, legal briefs, advocacy memos, blogs and other written products; monitor developments at trials and other legal proceedings, and engage legal, jurisprudential, legislative and governance developments worldwide; liaise with civil society and other justice advocates to promote Justice Initiative objectives; and help to develop and executive evidence-based advocacy strategies.

Selected Fellows will demonstrate a strong commitment to human rights and the rule of law in general, and a particular interest in our four core thematic areas. Additional requirements include:

  • A university degree in Law or an LL.M or M.A. in Human Rights; graduate degrees in related fields (e.g. economics, politics and statistics) may be considered sufficient in exceptional circumstances, provided the applicant can demonstrate substantial human rights advocacy experience and a demonstrated capacity to work on legal issues.
  • A maximum of five years practical experience in the human rights field.
  • A demonstrated record of accomplishment in legal analysis, legal research and writing, litigation, and/or relevant advocacy.
  • A high degree of English proficiency (speaking, writing and reading).

We are seeking Fellows with a desire to gain exposure to human rights topics, advocacy tools and geographies which may be currently unfamiliar to them. Selected fellows will demonstrate a willingness to take initiative, and the ability to work successfully both as members of a global team and as individual advocates.  Proficient knowledge of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and other languages is an asset.  Some international travel will be required for internal meetings; additional project-related travel will be at the discretion of supervising teams.

The Justice Initiative provides a competitive financial award and benefits package for the duration of the fellowship.

Application Instructions

For the January 2020 – December 2021 fellowship class, we will select up to one fellow to be based in each of the Justice Initiative’s three principal offices: Berlin (Germany), London (United Kingdom), and New York (United States).  Applicants must apply to the location in which they wish to be based. Applications to multiple locations are acceptable, but an individual application must be submitted for each location.  Fellowship offers will be specific to each location.

This call for applications is specific to the New York office.

Applications must be received by 5PM Eastern Standard Time on March 24, 2019.

In addition to filling out the online application, candidates must also submit the following documents:

1. A statement of purpose of no more than two pages detailing (a) the applicant’s interest and experience in human rights, generally, and the Aryeh Neier fellowship, specifically, (b) the  specific thematic area(s) in which the applicant is interested,  and (c)  the reasons for their interest in that particular area and how the applicant intends to contribute to those fields.

2. Curriculum Vitae.

Please note, all application materials must be submitted as one single PDF document. We are unable to receive additional documents via email.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews and writing exercises which will take place by June 2019. The final selection decisions will be announced by end of July 2019, with successful applicants beginning their fellowship in January 2020.

Contact Information

For any additional information about the application process and the program itself, please contact: recruiting@opensocietyfoundations.org

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.