Legal Fellow, U.S. Legal Program

Job Title:        Legal Fellow

Department:   U.S. Legal Program 

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women's reproductive health, self-determination, and dignity.  Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.  Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, DC and a staff of more than 130 diverse professionals.  Its annual operating budget is approximately $23 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory; the Center is now poised for a new phase of significant expansion through its next Strategic Plan.

The Center’s game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.  It has brought groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 55 countries.

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

Position Description:

The Center seeks two Legal Fellows in the United States Legal Program.  The fellows will report to one of the senior attorneys in the department.  The fellows will be joining the Center’s preeminent U.S. litigation team, which has helped millions of women and their families by securing government funding for abortions, striking down abortion bans and other access restrictions, and protecting teens’ access to emergency contraception and confidential reproductive healthcare services and information. Through our Law School Initiative (LSI) and Judicial Strategy unit, the U.S. Legal Program also works directly on promoting legal scholarship on reproductive health issues, engaging powerful allies that influence the courts, and influencing court doctrine on reproductive rights.

The position will be based in New York City.


Primary job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Trial court and appellate litigation work, including legal research and drafting, fact research and drafting of related materials, drafting of court documents, and additional litigation responsibilities
  • Legal and factual research on reproductive health and justice issues
  • Drafting of legal or factual analysis for Center publications or articles
  • Public speaking
  • Legal analyses of state and federal legislation and regulations
  • Factual, legal and scholarly research to support the Law School Initiative, including possibly drafting for teaching materials and conferences

Essential Qualifications:

  • Strong commitment to the Center’s mission, purpose, and values
  • Applicants must be capable of complex legal analytical work and have the ability to write clearly and effectively
  • Knowledge of reproductive rights issues or other issues relating to human rights, civil rights or racial and social justice is a strong plus
  • Applicants must be self-motivated with strong inter-personal skills
  • Some travel is required
  • JD degree required
  • One to two years of post-law school experience preferred, but not required

Compensation: The Center offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits program.

Duration of Position: This is a two-year, full-time fellowship starting in Fall 2016.

Core Values and Employment: The Center for Reproductive Rights is committed to a set of core values in its culture and work environment and expects its staff to have the same commitment. These values are innovation, integrity, effectiveness, excellence, treating our employees as our greatest asset, and building an inclusive and diverse workplace.

How to Apply: Please click on the link below to apply.  A cover letter, résumé, writing sample, and contact information for three references must be included in your application in order to be considered for this position.  Please include these application materials as attachments.

Deadline for applications: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff.  We strongly encourage candidates from all groups and communities to apply.