Legal Fellow (Externally Funded) - Judicial Strategy

Job Title: Judicial Strategy, Externally Funded Fellow

Department: US Programs

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 

The Role:

The Judicial Strategy program seeks to sponsor law students and lawyers to secure external funding for a one-year fellowship, to start in Fall 2019.  The Judicial Strategy program develops and implements non-litigation strategies to advance and protect reproductive rights jurisprudence, inside and outside the courts.  Projects include developing novel legal theories; amicus work; creating and promoting public narratives around reproductive rights jurisprudence; promoting cross-movement collaboration; and research and writing on a range of jurisprudential issues that inform the Center’s work.  Fellows will have opportunities to collaborate with other departments including Litigation, Policy, Human Rights, and Communications.

This position will be based in New York City.


For project-based fellowships, the Judicial Strategy team will work with applicants to develop a proposal that meets fellowship requirements and is integrated with Judicial Strategy goals.  Applicants for externally fellowships that do not require a proposal are also welcome and would be assigned projects based on the team’s ongoing needs.   

  • Drafting memos and reports on jurisprudential issues
  • Assisting with amicus briefs
  • Writing for the public
  • Working on legal communications strategies
  • Legal research


  • Strong commitment to the Center's mission, purpose, and values;
  • J.D. degree required;
  • Applicants must be capable of complex legal analytical work and have the ability to write clearly and effectively;
  • Knowledge of constitutional law, ideally involving 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;


The Center offers a comprehensive benefits program for externally funded fellows and may supplement external funding.

How to Apply: Please click on the link below to apply. A cover letter and resume must be included in your application. The cover letter must identify your potential funding source/fellowship.  If the fellowship is project-based, it must include a preliminary description of your project idea (subject to additional development with Center staff). If the fellowship is not project-based, please state as much in your cover letter.   Please submit all of your materials as a single PDF under either the cv/resume or cover letter upload option.

Deadline for applications:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a candidate has been interviewed and selected for sponsorship.  If the fellowship requires a proposal, the applicant will be interviewed before an offer is extended to work with Center staff on creating a proposal.  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 people from all groups and communities to apply.

US Programs
New York City