Staff Attorney- South and Southeast Asia

Job Type

Full Time




1050 Connecticut Ave NW
Suite 400

United States


Staff Attorney 2/Chief Counsel 1

Job Title:Staff Attorney 2/Chief Counsel 1

Job Type:Full-Time

Location:Washington, DC

 Job Description:

Staff Attorney -2/Chief Counsel 

Center for Human Rights - Justice Defenders 



The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights is seeking an experienced Staff Attorney to lead the South and Southeast Asia regional division of the Justice Defenders Program. Candidates with substantial experience living and working in South or Southeast Asia are encouraged to apply. All applicants must have authorization to work in the United States. The ABA does not sponsor visas. Language skills native to the region are preferred. 


The Justice Defenders Program provides pro bono legal assistance to human rights advocates working in difficult environments and vulnerable circumstances by: 

•Advising on, and raising public awareness of, sensitive trials and cases; 

•Connecting pro bono lawyers with requisite expertise with local lawyers to provide advice on international law standards, share best practices, and assist in developing advocacy and litigation strategies; and 

•Observing trials that have garnered local, regional, or international attention and/or have the potential of changing the law, for better or worse, within the country, and providing analysis of those trials. 

•Requires outstanding communication skills, excellent organizational skills and ability to exercise independent judgment. May occasionally conduct attorney trainings and/or plan/host conferences. 

The Justice Defenders Program’s global reach enables it to help human rights defenders in virtually any country. The Program is sensitive to varied political and factual circumstances and its assistance is tailored to realities “on the ground.” With experienced staff and a dynamic network of pro bono lawyers at the ready, the Program can respond rapidly to acute crises or take on long-term projects as needed. 

General Purpose of Job 

Does substantive legal work and may manage a grant funded project or provide substantive support to an ABA entity. May manage that entity. May be supervised by another attorney and frequently supervises more junior attorneys and/or other staff. Includes legal research, writing, speaking, provision of technical assistance, and may include grant development and/or fundraising 


Doctoral Degree (JD, PhD) 


JD and admission to the bar in at least one jurisdiction. At least 4 years working in relevant specialized area of law. High level of skills at legal writing and research, oral and written communications, and organizational skill. Substantial experience in policy analysis. 

The American Bar Association is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. 

Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with the American Bar Association please call 312-988-5188. 

Level of Language Proficiency

Knowledge of any languages native to the region are welcome.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume/CV, writing sample and list of at least 3 professional references to and copy

*Due to the large volume of applications received we are unable to notify applicants of the status of their application.*