What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

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ali3
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What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby ali3 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:56 pm

I've been researching this question and have come up with limited answers. What sort of jobs does one who wants to work in international human rights law seek? Do you work with international organizations? For private firms? The government?

kaiser
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby kaiser » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:02 pm

If you aren't going to Harvard or Yale, I really wouldn't worry too much about this, since next to no one goes into this area.

sebastian0622
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby sebastian0622 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:06 pm

Probably has a beard, wears sandals, maybe a vintage atari t-shirt. Probably listens to the Beatles, Wilco, and smokes a lot of reefer. Might have a French (but probably not an Austrian) accent.


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Blessedassurance
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby Blessedassurance » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:40 pm

You sit at home all day shooting off resumes and occasionally vent on JDU.

Renzo
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby Renzo » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:04 pm

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vanwinkle
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:13 pm

All responses so far are credited.

ali3
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby ali3 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:23 pm

Hm. Okay... but what about Northwestern's JD/LLC Int'l human rights program? Come on, NU's name has to count for something, here.

Renzo
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby Renzo » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:25 pm

ali3 wrote:Hm. Okay... but what about Northwestern's JD/LLC Int'l human rights program? Come on, NU's name has to count for something, here.



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Anonymous User
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:26 pm

ali3 wrote:Hm. Okay... but what about Northwestern's JD/LLC Int'l human rights program? Come on, NU's name has to count for something, here.


Schools know that there is this misconception among students that they will end up doing some grand human rights work, so they create degree programs to perpetuate that misconception. Don't assume NU's program is anything different. Sure, NY is a good school, but its nowhere near enough to carry you to an area populated largely by the best of the best at HYS.

071816
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby 071816 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:28 pm

It looks an awful lot like unemployment.

sebastian0622
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby sebastian0622 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:32 pm

ali3 wrote:Hm. Okay... but what about Northwestern's JD/LLC Int'l human rights program? Come on, NU's name has to count for something, here.


NU is a great law school. But I wouldn't expect to get a job in Alien Law (as in, little green men with funny tentacles) even if Yale offered the program.

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lulzalicious
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby lulzalicious » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:33 pm

Im not sure about the States, but in the UK there are a few really good firms/'chambers' that specialize in human rights law. A lot of cases are civil rights stuff, terrorism cases etc. A lot take US grads for intl cases, but you usually need something transferable to Europe.
Another route is getting internships with IGOs or through various UN bodies, notably work in things like the ICTY tribunal, or similar courts and progress through intl courts. Its a very 'work your way up' type of career and as this thread has mentioned a small niche.
Its very competitive. If you're thinking of international human rights law I would suggest on top being as competitive as possible (top grades,LR etc), looking into possibly doing internships abroad with relevant IGOs and/or something like an LLM.
Ive done the UK Bar and my qualification there as well as connections with firms is what Im counting on to help me establish myself in that area after my JD/US Bar. (Alot of intl firms want people that are qualified in both).

If its what you want you have to be really serious about it and start getting involved in the right things asap. It only results in the doom and gloom posted above if you havent worked for it really hard or set yourself up for it well :) Good luck with it!

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fanmingrui
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby fanmingrui » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:49 pm

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vanwinkle
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:46 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:
ali3 wrote:Hm. Okay... but what about Northwestern's JD/LLC Int'l human rights program? Come on, NU's name has to count for something, here.

NU is a great law school. But I wouldn't expect to get a job in Alien Law (as in, little green men with funny tentacles) even if Yale offered the program.

But Ole Miss has a great program in Outer Space Law. That to count for something in the extraterrestrial job market, right?

Anonymous User
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:21 am

Friend is pursing the same concentration and though at a T2, I am absolutely confident that he will get to practice in that area. BUT he has extensive pre-LS and LS experience in that area: lived for a number of years abroad in a number of HR hotspots working for some of the household name organizations (HRW, etc.), including 1L summer, and otherwise worked/volunteered for similar orgs throughout law school. His lengthy resume demonstrates a long-standing and total commitment to the field. I can't imagine anyone would piss on that kind of commitment and experience because he didn't go to HYS.

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rayiner
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby rayiner » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:11 am

ali3 wrote:Hm. Okay... but what about Northwestern's JD/LLC Int'l human rights program? Come on, NU's name has to count for something, here.


Everyone I know who started in that program tried to get out of it.

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rayiner
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby rayiner » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:Friend is pursing the same concentration and though at a T2, I am absolutely confident that he will get to practice in that area. BUT he has extensive pre-LS and LS experience in that area: lived for a number of years abroad in a number of HR hotspots working for some of the household name organizations (HRW, etc.), including 1L summer, and otherwise worked/volunteered for similar orgs throughout law school. His lengthy resume demonstrates a long-standing and total commitment to the field. I can't imagine anyone would piss on that kind of commitment and experience because he didn't go to HYS.


You'd be surprised at the legal field then.

It's not a matter of pissing on the T2. It's a matter of their being 1,000 students at HYS, a handful of which have similar experience and will be competing for the handful of jobs that exist in the field.

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worldtraveler
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:49 am

There are few people who actually practice human rights law. There are a small number of firms and non-profits who litigate before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights or present cases to the Inter-American Commission. The same is true for the European Court of Human Rights, although as an American your jobs of getting these jobs are slim to none.
Most people in the field are more of an advocate, researcher, or analyst than a lawyer, although the legal training is quite necessary. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights NGOs hire these kinds of people. The jobs are very hard to get.
Other opportunities include the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, UN missions and offices, smaller NGOs, international tribunals or the ICC, the Red Cross, etc. These jobs are all very, very hard to get. Consulting or being hired on by other governments is also a possibility.
Really the most likely and easily obtainable job for someone interested in human rights is in refugee/asylum work. There are also other areas of law such as employment law, housing, disability, HIV/AIDS discrimination which are all human rights law yet less flashy than stuff like genocide. Jobs in those kinds of law actually do exist.

Basically, if it interests you, go through this checklist: Do you have prior international experience (think Peace Corps, development work, stuff like that)? Can you get into a T10? Do you speak other languages? Are you willing to go beyond a JD and do a JD/MA or even a PhD? Are you willing and able to work for a pittance? Are you okay with getting stuck in a shitty location just because that's the only place you can get a job? Are you okay seeing really, really difficult things like tortured children or 3 year old rape victims?

If you answer no to any of those, then it's not for you.

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mths
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby mths » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:35 am

not sure what it looks like but I think it smells like poverty

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Grizz
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby Grizz » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:52 am

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Renzo
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby Renzo » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:30 pm

Grizz wrote:--ImageRemoved--


Why did the artist who drew this give it a wang, but only a stubby, featureless wang? I mean, if you were worried about modesty, they could have left it out. And if you're worried about realism, then why not make it look real?

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reasonable_man
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:44 pm

More like this:


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sebastian0622
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby sebastian0622 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:49 pm

Renzo wrote:
Grizz wrote:--ImageRemoved--


Why did the artist who drew this give it a wang, but only a stubby, featureless wang? I mean, if you were worried about modesty, they could have left it out. And if you're worried about realism, then why not make it look real?


Personally, I think all depictions of unicorns should be realistic.

ali3
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Re: What, exactly, does a career in Human Rights Law look like?

Postby ali3 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:42 pm

Thanks to the people who actually replied with explanations.




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