Becoming a human rights lawyer is an extremely rewarding career path that involves fighting for the rights of people around the world. You will likely work on cases that deal with discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, and a range of other issues that impact on human beingsâ€™ quality of life.
Getting started on your human rights lawyering journey
Whether you want to work in private law firms or for international non-profits, there are several steps to take before you can begin practicing law as a human rights lawyer. First, you must obtain a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited university or law school. After that, youâ€™ll need to pass a bar exam. Depending on where you live, this process may take several months and can include a combination of coursework and practice.
Study abroad and human rights fieldwork
Having an international outlook is important for a successful human rights career. Many NGOs and other organizations seek out grads who have worked on international cases in the past, says Bowman. If youâ€™re interested in international law, itâ€™s also a good idea to pursue a semester or two of study abroad to gain experience with a different culture and perspective.
Join a legal clinic
Legal clinics are a great way to get hands-on experience with the legal system and help clients with their specific issues. These clinics typically run by clinical professors and are a great place to get involved in a professional environment while still in law school.
Volunteer for a human rights organization
While youâ€™re in law school, itâ€™s helpful to seek out opportunities to do pro bono work for human rights organizations. This is especially useful if you want to focus your legal career on social justice work, as it will give you more insight into the world of human rights and allow you to see firsthand the challenges facing vulnerable groups of people.
Participate in MOOT Courts
MOOT Courts are safe spaces where students can get practical experience with the skills theyâ€™ll need to become a successful human rights lawyer. These events are often simulated courts or arbitration proceedings and include drafting memorials or memoranda and participating in oral argument.
Develop research and strategic thinking
The legal process is complex and requires thorough investigation and research. Being able to identify the details you need to defend your clientâ€™s case is essential to a successful career as a human rights lawyer. Recommended this site worker compensation lawyers .
Organize your time efficiently
As a human rights lawyer, you will have to prioritize multiple cases and be responsible for managing each task. This can be a stressful and busy career but it also provides you with invaluable insights into how the justice system works.
Dedication and commitment to the cause
Being a human rights lawyer requires dedication and a strong commitment to the issues you represent. It also requires a lot of patience and persistence to stay on top of the latest news in your field.
Becoming a human rights lawyer isnâ€™t easy but itâ€™s a rewarding and fulfilling career option for anyone who wants to make a difference. Itâ€™s also a career that can be very lucrative, with a median salary of $131,786.