The Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program in Human Rights 2017, Open Society Justice Initiative, USA

Publish Date: Apr 14, 2017

Deadline: Apr 24, 2017

Aryeh Neier Fellow - New York

The Justice Initiative, an operational program of The Open Society Foundations, 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. 

The Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program

The Aryeh Neier 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 four core thematic areas:

  • Accountability, Liberty and Transparency
  • Criminal Justice
  • Equality & Inclusion
  • Rule of Law

Fellows will use a range of tools to develop their human rights skills, including advocacy, litigation, and research.  

In order to ensure a rich and varied experience, the selected fellows will work with two different Justice Initiative teams throughout the term of their fellowship.  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 2018 – December 2019 fellowship class, we will select up to one fellow to be based in each of the Justice Initiative’s three principal offices: Budapest (Hungary), 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 April 24, 2017.

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

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. Curriculum Vitae. Names and current contact details of two references.

Please note that you are able to upload several documents with your application, so ensure that you do this before submitting your application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews and writing exercises which will take place by 30 June 2017. The final selection decisions will be announced by July 15, 2017, with successful applicants beginning their fellowship in January 2018.

Contact Information

For any additional information about the application process and the program itself, please contact:

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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