Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

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LaBelleBarrister
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Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby LaBelleBarrister » Tue May 21, 2013 10:37 am

I know that international human rights work is disputed to exist/not exist so my question isn't about that per se... I was just wondering for the people who have gone into that kind of work (public interest, international human rights work with NGO's, embassy work), what kind of salary do you typically earn? It is enough to sustain a family on?

wisdom
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby wisdom » Tue May 21, 2013 11:06 am

http://work.chron.com/salary-public-int ... -7761.html

Just a preliminary google result -- looks like 40k or so for entry level, maxing out around 70-75, which sounds about right. Of course, the jobs are few and far between, so it's actually quite hard to land the gig.

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LaBelleBarrister
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby LaBelleBarrister » Tue May 21, 2013 4:07 pm

wisdom wrote:http://work.chron.com/salary-public-interest-lawyer-7761.html

Just a preliminary google result -- looks like 40k or so for entry level, maxing out around 70-75, which sounds about right. Of course, the jobs are few and far between, so it's actually quite hard to land the gig.


So keeping the income in mind and the hardships facing people who want to go into that field... is it possible to receive a JD/LLM with a concentration in human right's law, and then go into corporate law for a few years to pay your back debts? Or would this be impossible because a background in human rights law doesn't warrant itself to a credible background towards biglaw work?

The benefit being that once your back debts are paid you could work at a lower salary rate and not financially stress as much (because law school carries a hefty price tag!).

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smaug_
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby smaug_ » Tue May 21, 2013 4:14 pm

LaBelleBarrister wrote:would this be impossible because a background in human rights law doesn't warrant itself to a credible background towards biglaw work?


The opposite of this: it would be difficult because a background in corporate law (evinced by working at a big firm) maybe in incompatible with human rights work. They want you to drink the Kool-Aid early and don't want you experimenting too much.

That said, you can do this, you just need to have a real demonstrated interest in public interest work. Also, from what I can tell, human rights folks are totally into the prestige game, so it is important to do well in school and build credentials.

rad lulz
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby rad lulz » Tue May 21, 2013 4:23 pm

LaBelleBarrister wrote:I know that international human rights work is disputed to exist/not exist

Oh it exists, that's not disputed, but it's insanely hard to get a job doing it

As there is an OVERWHELMING likelihood you won't get that kind of job

To get in the game, you first need to have preexisting NGO/human rights experience

Post-UG work experience, not study abroad in Barcelona

rad lulz
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby rad lulz » Tue May 21, 2013 4:29 pm

As far as salary, part of the problem is finding someone to pay/sponsor/fund you to work for an org, at least initially

But barely anyone one wants to pay for it/give away free oney

If you go to a top school they may offer some school PI funding program or a school fellowship for a year

IF you can get the NGO job to begin with (unlikely)

There are also some independent fellowships

Pay is low; you should look at the schools you're interested and see what PI funding they offer

Also intl. work doesn't really happen behind a desk so I hope your family is cool with travel

And by travel I mean you traveling to the Belgian Congo or some other shit country

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worldtraveler
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby worldtraveler » Tue May 21, 2013 8:03 pm

The salaries for the really prestigious jobs at the UN, big NGOs, the Hague, etc. can be 6 figures or more. If you accept hardship placements you often get housing allowances, a driver, a maid, and all kinds of other perks. The problem is getting started in the field. A lot of people get their start through unpaid internships and living on next to nothing. It's no accident that most people in international human rights come from very wealthy families.

I don't know the exact statistics, but something like 80-90% of human rights workers at NGOs in NY are women married to big law attorneys who are able to accept a shit salary because their husbands make big money.

Public interest domestic work is quite different. You would likely start at about 30k, maybe max out at 60-70k.

masked kavana
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby masked kavana » Wed May 22, 2013 7:12 pm

worldtraveler wrote:The salaries for the really prestigious jobs at the UN, big NGOs, the Hague, etc. can be 6 figures or more. If you accept hardship placements you often get housing allowances, a driver, a maid, and all kinds of other perks. The problem is getting started in the field. A lot of people get their start through unpaid internships and living on next to nothing. It's no accident that most people in international human rights come from very wealthy families.

I don't know the exact statistics, but something like 80-90% of human rights workers at NGOs in NY are women married to big law attorneys who are able to accept a shit salary because their husbands make big money.

Public interest domestic work is quite different. You would likely start at about 30k, maybe max out at 60-70k.


This post makes me so sad...

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LaBelleBarrister
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby LaBelleBarrister » Thu May 23, 2013 1:19 am

rad lulz wrote: And by travel I mean you traveling to the Belgian Congo or some other shit country


Honestly... if I could pick any one place to work in the world it would be the Congo, actually.

BalanceCare
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby BalanceCare » Thu May 23, 2013 6:51 am

Some of the people here are wrongish.

Nat'l/int'l PI organizations (i.e., orgs whose names you'd recognize as opposed to a local public defender's office) frequently pay 60-80 to start for an attorney with a couple years relevant experience, and that will increase to 80-120 if you have more. Move into a management position as opposed to litigation and it's low six figures and up, depending on the size of the organization. Check the 990s for your favorite big PI organizations. They often list the 5 highest paid employees and their salaries (so it'll be executive director and a few other mgmt positions), which should give you a sense of the range at the top end for that org.

Caveat: these jobs are generally very competitive. They will usually go to people w/ t14 or better JDs (t6 preferred), and more importantly, significant demonstrated interest and experience in the relevant field. (Having the latter without the former can be sufficient in some cases, but the reverse does not seem to be true.) Higher-paying management positions obviously only available to those with long experience and the connections and knowledge that it brings.

Even with the qualifiers above, it is flatly wrong to put the top end at 70k. Not everyone comes from a wealthy background either, though its definitely not the field to choose if you're aiming for rags-to-riches.

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IAFG
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby IAFG » Thu May 23, 2013 7:15 am

BalanceCare wrote:Some of the people here are wrongish.

Nat'l/int'l PI organizations (i.e., orgs whose names you'd recognize as opposed to a local public defender's office) frequently pay 60-80 to start for an attorney with a couple years relevant experience, and that will increase to 80-120 if you have more. Move into a management position as opposed to litigation and it's low six figures and up, depending on the size of the organization. Check the 990s for your favorite big PI organizations. They often list the 5 highest paid employees and their salaries (so it'll be executive director and a few other mgmt positions), which should give you a sense of the range at the top end for that org.

Caveat: these jobs are generally very competitive. They will usually go to people w/ t14 or better JDs (t6 preferred), and more importantly, significant demonstrated interest and experience in the relevant field. (Having the latter without the former can be sufficient in some cases, but the reverse does not seem to be true.) Higher-paying management positions obviously only available to those with long experience and the connections and knowledge that it brings.

Even with the qualifiers above, it is flatly wrong to put the top end at 70k. Not everyone comes from a wealthy background either, though its definitely not the field to choose if you're aiming for rags-to-riches.

I think you're working under a different definitions of "topping out." People ITT are talking about typical pay at the top of a lawyer's career, not what the best-paid PI person at the best org is making. It's like if I said, MDs in the US typically start in the high 5 figures and top out in the mid-to-low six figures and you said, that's not true, top plastic surgeons in LA and NY make millions.

seagan823
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby seagan823 » Thu May 23, 2013 8:55 am

This might be one of those situations where you should become a lawyer far later in your career.

Maybe join the Peacecorps, get a Masters in International Affairs from SAIS or SIPA or a similarly prestigious IR grad school, work for a DC based NGO or try and land a job at USAID. Then kill the LSAT, head to a top 6 known for their work in international human rights law, do extremely well in law school and with the right summer internships, maybe you will have the resume for it.

BalanceCare
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby BalanceCare » Fri May 24, 2013 2:09 am

IAFG wrote:I think you're working under a different definitions of "topping out."

No, I was working with the definition that was voiced by actual posters ITT:

An Actual Poster ITT, Not a Straw Man wrote:Just a preliminary google result -- looks like 40k or so for entry level, maxing out around 70-75, which sounds about right.


To compliment the in-depth googling, I provided some information based on first-hand experience in a major legal market :

BalanceCare wrote:Nat'l/int'l PI organizations (i.e., orgs whose names you'd recognize as opposed to a local public defender's office) frequently pay 60-80 to start for an attorney with a couple years relevant experience, and that will increase to 80-120 if you have more.


Please read the thread again and see if you can find where I pointed to
IAFG wrote:what the best-paid PI person at the best org is making
as evidence for my claim that "70-75" is not the maximum for PI work. I'm afraid that's something you conjured up on your own. :)


seagan823 wrote:This might be one of those situations where you should become a lawyer far later in your career.

180

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worldtraveler
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Re: Salaries in human rights work/public interest?

Postby worldtraveler » Sun May 26, 2013 2:03 am

LaBelleBarrister wrote:
rad lulz wrote: And by travel I mean you traveling to the Belgian Congo or some other shit country


Honestly... if I could pick any one place to work in the world it would be the Congo, actually.


You also say you want a family. Those two goals are next to impossible with each other.




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