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Fellowship Announcements

Please see below announcements about current Fellowships:


2020-2021 Fellowships in International Human Rights


Unrestricted Fellowship


Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellowship - Established in memory of Alan R. and Barbara D. Finberg, early supporters of Human Rights Watch (HRW), this fellowship is open to candidates who hold an advanced (graduate) degree or have a degree granted by June 2020 in the fields of law, journalism, international relations, area studies, or other relevant disciplines from universities worldwide. Candidates with LL.B. degrees or advanced degrees in other relevant disciplines may also be considered.

Restricted Fellowships


Leonard H. Sandler Fellowship - Established in memory of Judge Leonard H. Sandler, a 1950 Columbia Law graduate with a lifelong commitment to civil rights and liberties, this fellowship is open to candidates who hold  J.D. from Columbia Law School or have a degree granted by June 2020. 




Fellows typically work full-time for one year in Human Rights Watch’s New York or Washington, D.C. office. In some instances, other locations may be considered. The fellowship begins in September 2020.

Fellows monitor human rights developments in various countries, conduct on-site investigations, draft reports on human rights conditions, and engage in advocacy and media outreach aimed at publicizing and curtailing human rights violations.

Past fellows have conducted research and advocacy on numerous different issues in countries all over the world. Examples include projects on: police corruption and access to justice in Liberia; accessibility for people with disabilities in Russia; youth in solitary confinement in US prisons; hazardous child labor in artisanal gold mining in Tanzania; and police abuse of gay men in Kyrgyzstan.

Human Rights Watch will ensure that fellows receive training and mentorship, including regular and timely feedback and guidance on professional growth. Human Rights Watch is committed to ensuring a balanced workload for Fellows and monitoring staff well-being.


Experience: Prior research experience, including experience conducting interviews, ideally in the context of human rights research, is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Demonstrated strong background in international human rights and commitment to building a career in human rights are required.
  2. Excellent oral and written communications skills in English are required.
  3. Proficiency in another language in addition to English is strongly desired, as is familiarity with countries or regions where serious human rights violations occur.
  4. Self-motivation, ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.
  5. Strong initiative and follow-through, exceptional analytical skills, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent editing skills, perseverance and flexibility while maintaining HRW’s high methodological standards are required.
  6. Strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.
  7. Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations are required.
  8. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.

Salary and Benefits: The salary for 2020-2021 fellows is US $60,000, plus excellent employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline: Please apply immediately or by 11:59 PM ET on October 11, 2019 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a CV/resume, letter of interest, and a brief writing sample (unedited by others), preferably altogether as one PDF file. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Due to the large number of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted further.


Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted to submit the following: two letters of recommendation and an official law or graduate school transcript.


Successful applicants should be available for an in-person interview in New York from mid-to-late November 2019. Human Rights Watch will make the necessary arrangements and cover reasonable travel costs to attend this interview. 


Please direct inquiries, including technical difficulties with your application submission, to [email protected]. Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered. 


Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of ability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.


Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of governments and international institutions.

Fall 2020 Legal Fellowships - Manhattan Legal Services 

Manhattan Legal Services is seeking law students to sponsor for post-graduate legal fellowships such as Skadden and law school funded fellowships to commence in Fall 2020.

We are part of Legal Services NYC, the largest provider of free civil legal services for low-income people in the country. We are an anti-racist, anti-poverty social justice law office, dedicated to providing high quality legal services in the areas of housing, family law, public benefits, employment, education, consumer, immigration and disability rights, with special units serving particular vulnerable populations. We are committed to working in partnership with community-based organizations in the low-income communities we serve to address the causes of poverty.

MLS seeks proposals to provide direct legal services as well as to address systemic causes of social, racial and economic injustice. We are open to any proposal but some ideas for fellowships include:

  • Addressing barriers to employment for people with criminal records and seeking innovative proposals designed to address those legal barriers impeding full opportunities for inclusion in the workforce.
  • Working to create wealth in the communities we serve and addressing financial justice issues including access to health care, access to benefits, the ability to transfer wealth, strengthening HDFC's and helping people create and maintain small businesses and microenterprises.
  • Working with our HIV and LGBTQ Unit to create a project that addresses one or more of the following areas: access to health care, access to benefits, and other issues particularly affecting LGBTQ youth and transgender women of color.
  • Addressing disability rights such as discrimination, mental health issues, and access to housing, transportation and health care.
  • Addressing the barriers for marginalized student groups such as limited English proficiency and LGBTQ students to obtain special education services in a culturally sensitive method and representing them in school disciplinary proceedings related to their special needs. 

We are looking for applicants with a demonstrated passion for social justice, and a commitment to working with low-income communities and communities of color to advance equity. Qualified students and recent law graduate are invited to submit a brief project proposal no later than August 19, 2019. Please send a brief proposal and resume to Peggy Earisman, Director, by email to [email protected]


 Fall 2020 Legal Fellowships - Bronx Legal Services NYC

Bronx Legal Services seeks applicants to sponsor for fellowships beginning Fall 2020.

Bronx Legal Services, the Bronx office of Legal Services NYC, is the largest provider of free civil legal services in the borough, and the largest single legal services office in New York City. Our mission is to advance society's promise to its most vulnerable members that all are entitled to equal access to justice through our legal system. Specifically, we are seeking fellowship applicants for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Kirkland & Ellis and other outside funded fellowships for our Economic Justice, Family and Immigration, Foreclosure, LGBTQ Advocacy and Public Benefits Units.

Our Economic Justice Unit advocates for workers’ rights in the workplace, and represents individuals seeking unemployment benefits. In addition we assist consumers with a range of debt collection issues in and out of court, including student loans, nursing home and medical debt, credit card debt. We represent low‐income taxpayers in federal and related state tax disputes, ensuring they receive credits they are entitled to, relieving them from collection efforts and penalties, or helping them achieve affordable payment plans. The Unit also helps seniors over the age of 60 prepare wills, health care proxies, and powers of attorney. We defend seniors facing issues with home health care, Medicaid and Medicare, nursing home problems, disability, public benefits, consumer law problems, SCRIE, elder abuse. As well, our Unit represents low‐income disabled children and adults in federal disability benefits applications and in cessation hearings.

Our Family and Immigration Unit is engaged in individual and systemic advocacy regarding intimate partner violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and other forms of violence in a wide range of family and immigration matters, including orders of protection, custody/visitation, child/spousal support, U & T non-immigrant status, VAWA, SIJS, and asylum. It also does work regarding family‐based immigration applications and naturalizations, trying to keep children out of the foster care system, family reunification, and supporting employment by clearing records of maltreatment with the New York State Central Registry.

Our Foreclosure Unit works to stem the tide of foreclosures brought on by the historic foreclosure crisis of the last decade. Many Bronx communities of color have been targeted with abusive mortgages while disproportionately being denied conventional mortgages and other financial services. Through litigation, representation in court settlement conferences and non‐litigation advocacy outside of court, the Foreclosure Prevention unit seeks to end these abusive practices while remediating the legacy of predatory lending in the Bronx by transforming these mortgages into affordable loans that preserve homeownership and retain wealth in the form of home equity.

Our LGBTQ Advocacy Project handles individual cases and identifies systemic issues affecting these communities. We handle a wide variety of matters in a general practice model including immigration, public benefits, family, divorce, domestic/intimate partner violence, health, and education matters. Our Project coordinates with LSNYC's Citywide LGBTQIH Project and works closely with CBOs throughout the City who work with LGBTQ‐identified people.

Our Public Benefits Unit represents clients challenging denials or reductions of public assistance, Medicaid, home care, and SNAP benefits. It represents clients in administrative Fair Hearings and appeals in Supreme Court Article 78 proceedings. We also pursue affirmative litigation to challenge systemic barriers that prevent or limit access to benefits by working people, the disabled, and individuals requiring language access.

Interested individuals should send a cover letter, a resume, two writing samples, and three references to:

Sandra Sanchez, Assistant to the Project Director

Bronx Legal Services, 349 East 149th Street, 10th Floor, Bronx, NY 10451 Email: [email protected]