Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights seeks legal interns to work with its international human rights litigation and advocacy programs based in Washington D.C. for Summer 2018.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but priority will be given to applications received by February 15.


Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights was founded as a living memorial to Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Ever since, it has honored journalists, authors, and human rights activists who, often at great personal risk and sacrifice, are on the frontlines of the international movement for human rights and social justice. Partnering with these courageous and innovative human rights defenders, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights secures lasting change through the advocacy, training, and litigation efforts of our Partners for Human Rights program (PHR). It seeks landmark decisions before international human rights bodies, amplifies the voices of our partners on the ground to drive reform and protect their safety, and gives defenders the training and expertise they need to make change in their communities. Not only does our strategy achieve justice for human rights abuses, but it stops future abuses from occurring. For more information about Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, please visit:      


•      Conducting international human rights legal research and draft memoranda in support of litigation, fact-finding reports, and advocacy materials, as well as on recent developments of thematic issues and in country conditions relevant to the work of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

•      Assisting in preparation of documents in support of litigation before international mechanisms (e.g. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, UN Treaty Bodies), and in support of advocacy before governments, international organizations, and U.N. special procedures;

•      Attending and reporting on briefings, Congressional hearings, symposia and other meetings;

•      Monitoring sources of information on countries and issues of concern to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; and collecting, organizing and analyzing relevant information;

•      Working closely with RFK Partners for Human Rights programmatic staff to develop long-term strategies, legal actions, and advocacy campaigns to support the RFK Laureates.

•      Providing additional support to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Staff on an as-needed basis.


Applicants must have completed at least one year of law school and have a well-established interest in human rights. Individuals with fluency in one of the following languages are highly encouraged to apply: Arabic, French or Spanish.

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated understanding (academic / research / work experience) of regional and international human rights law; working knowledge of the United Nations system (e.g. UN treaty bodies, special procedures, Universal Periodic Review, etc.) and/or the regional human rights mechanisms (e.g. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, etc.); an ability to master complex human rights issues under tight deadlines; and excellent written and verbal communication skills. 

A modest monthly stipend is available for eligible interns, and a transportation benefit is available for all interns during their time at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

How to apply:

If interested, please e-mail a cover letter, resume, brief writing sample, and list of 3 references to:

Hiring Manager
Subject line: Legal Intern

Successful writing samples will consist of a legal brief on international human rights law and standards.

Applications are considered and positions are offered on a rolling basis. Please note, due to the high volume of applications received, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights will follow up with candidates directly in regards to the interview process. No calls or emails, please.