Staff Attorney, US Advocacy & Litigation


Staff Attorney, US Advocacy & Litigation

Department: US Advocacy & Litigation (Racial & Economic Justice, Criminal Justice, Immigration)

Reporting to: VP of US Advocacy & Litigation

Full-Time, Exempt

Salary Range: $80,000-$85,000

Location: Washington, DC or New York, NY (Due to current COVID-19 status, this position will begin remote)

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights seeks a Staff Attorney to advance racial and economic justice and dismantle systems of mass criminalization and incarceration (criminal legal & immigration) in solidarity with frontline movements for social change across the United States.

About the US Advocacy & Litigation team:

The US Advocacy & Litigation team works to dismantle the scale, scope, and power of systems of mass criminalization and incarceration that disproportionately target Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, communities of color, LGBTQ+ people, and those experiencing poverty. We work in solidarity with frontline advocates who are directly impacted by systems of oppression to amplify their agenda in a way that helps them build local power in the areas of racial and economic justice, criminal justice, and immigrant justice. Our team provides national infrastructure to fill existing gaps and channels energy and resources directly to local efforts by co-conducting public education and advocacy campaigns, co-producing multimedia for ongoing use, providing policy analysis and strategy assistance, and building bridges to political and cultural influencers to bolster our collective efforts. Through these efforts we jointly increase nationwide issue awareness and broaden public demand for the change that communities envision.


  • Develop and maintain partnerships with local communities, organizers, bail/bond funds, and campaigns;

  • Identify high-impact cases for bold, strategic interventions in collaboration with community partners;

  • Track impact of RFKHR’s engagement for use in advocacy and awareness initiatives;

  • Support advocacy and other legal efforts to reduce the scale, scope, and power of systems of mass criminalization and incarceration through the collection and documentation of personal stories and data;

  • Serve as a subject-matter expert and possible spokesperson representing the organization in the field and with the media on relevant programmatic areas;

  • Identify and execute ways to achieve shared impact across other RFKHR programs, to mobilize RFKHR stakeholders in support of the work, and to increase the visibility of RFKHR and our work before the general public;

  • All new staff will undergo an introductory period of three (3) months as a training and learning period;

  • Participate in the recruitment, hiring, and training of department staff as needed;

  • Do your part in keeping our operations running smoothly - tracking your hours and submitting timecards in a timely manner.

A successful candidate will have the following skills and experiences:

  • J.D. or foreign equivalent required;

  • At least 5 years of experience preferred working in the fields of criminal legal defense and/or immigrant justice advocacy at the intersection of the criminal legal system (experiences during law school/education are applicable)

  • Experience with legislative advocacy, policy work, campaigning, and/or litigation as tactics preferred;

  • Demonstrated ability to distill technical legal concepts of criminal justice and/or immigrant justice advocacy for discreet audiences such as policymakers and the general public;

  • Experience with movement lawyering working with and in support of social justice movements, grassroots organizers, and community-based organizations in the United States;

  • Ability to initiate new ideas and initiatives with the ability to institutionalize them and build structure as needed;

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills;

  • Strong attention to detail and able to scope out errors, including a willingness to own and fix mistakes;

  • Exceptional time management, including the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at once;

  • High level of integrity and discretion in handling confidential information;

  • Self-starter who shows strong initiative and is committed to growth and reaching goals;

  • Innovative thinking, willingness to voice your opinions, and a strong work ethic are essential;

  • Strong sense of teamwork that builds positive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and a willingness to help others;

  • Believes in inclusivity when working with colleagues with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Preferred but not required qualifications:

  • Experience or relationships with criminal legal defense organizations and/or grassroots movement leaders;

  • Experience working on high visibility advocacy campaigns, involving multiple stakeholders (including celebrity influencers);

  • Lived experience directly impacted by the criminal legal or immigration system.

Benefits and other Perks:

  • We value your health: RFK Human Rights covers 100% of individual-only costs of our platinum medical, dental, vision benefits and subsidize the cost for dependent coverage;

  • We understand the importance of financial planning and saving we provide:
    • An automatic contribution of 7% of your salary after your first year of employment;

    • A College Saveup/Loan PayDown program with an automatic $200/monthly contribution for any current loans or future loans;

    • An automatic monthly cell phone & internet speed stipend of $125/monthly to offset any phone & internet expenses;

  • We value your growth: RFK Human Rights provides an annual $2,000 professional development stipend to all full-time staff to use towards any courses, conferences, or trainings that would further one's professional learning and development. As well professional development days/hours to complete these courses.

  • Flexibility and independence to help manage your work and home life: Staff have the ability to work from home or telecommute.
    • Employees receive a $1,000 benefits card each calendar year to use towards food and home & life purchases to help support work from home needs.

    • We hold weekly Summer Fridays between Memorial Day to Labor Day where our offices close half day each Friday so you can enjoy some extra long weekends.

  • We love to celebrate human rights advocates and our hard work! We do so by hosting award ceremonies, galas, summer outings, holiday parties, potlucks, domestic and international staff retreats, and spur-of-the-moment social outings.

How to Apply:

  • Submit your resume and cover letter to with “Your Name + US Staff Attorney” in the subject heading.

  • In your cover letter please include how you heard about this role and why you’re interested in this position.

No phone calls please. RFK Human Rights will contact qualified candidates directly.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer and believes we are stronger and more effective by working internally and externally with people of all abilities, diverse backgrounds, and a range of perspectives, particularly those who have historically been marginalized or underrepresented. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We do not discriminate in our hiring practices and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seek a diverse applicant pool.