Human Rights Legal Internship

Human Rights Legal Internship 

(Evergreen Position)

Advocacy & Litigation Department


Location: Washington, DC 

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights accepts applications on a rolling basis from students interested in working with its international advocacy and litigation team. This is an evergreen internship opportunity that remains open for applications throughout the year.


Our team of lawyers and issue experts collaborate with partners around the world to create lasting legal change. Through legal advocacy, we have freed political prisoners, defended the rule of law in autocratic regimes, and amplified the voices of human rights defenders in the United States and abroad. We present the annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, which recognizes a courageous individual whose activism reflects Robert F. Kennedy’s belief that every individual can make a difference. The award’s recipients enter multi-year partnerships with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, anchoring our advocacy work and strengthening the activists’ ability to make gentler the life of the world.     


  • 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 at the start of the internship and have a well-established interest in human rights. Fluency in one of the following languages is desirable, but not required: 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.