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Volunteer Public Defender International Fellowship

Posted by

The International Legal Foundation


New
|
Published 1 month ago

Recurring
Weekdays
Full time (30+ hrs/wk)

The International Legal Foundation (ILF) is seeking lawyers with extensive criminal defense experience and legal aid institutional know-how to join its International Fellows program and provide training and capacity building to local lawyers and legal aid providers in developing and transitional legal systems through day-to-day, case-by-case mentoring. We currently have remote fellowship positions available in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Palestine (West Bank), Tunisia and Indonesia.


The ILF’s International Fellows program provides criminal justice professionals with the opportunity to have a direct and positive impact on their fellow attorneys abroad and in the process contribute to the sustainable development of countries at a pivotal transition point. The fellowships are volunteer/pro bono positions, but all international and domestic work related transportation and housing is covered, and a small monthly stipend provided.


Fellows are the backbone of the ILF’s success in its program countries. Since 2001, nearly 100 Fellows from around the world have helped transform the role of local lawyers in Afghanistan, Tunisia, Palestine (West Bank), Nepal, and Myanmar from passive participants in the criminal justice system to proactive advocates for their clients. As a direct result of these pro bono placements, clients languishing in detention have been released and many innocent accused have been acquitted. Fellows have helped local lawyers develop foundational defense skills and techniques, challenge unlawful policies and practices, and push litigation strategies that have improved the justice systems in all of the countries in which the ILF works. Fellows with managerial experience have supported the introduction of systems and procedures in ILF offices that facilitate quality services to clients and move towards local independence.


Program Details:

ILF staff works with Fellows prior to their departure to prepare them on law, practice and context, as well as connecting new Fellows with prior Fellows and local staff. On the ground, Fellows will start immediately to work up cases with the lawyers, conduct legal discussions, and shadow lawyers at their court appearances. The mentoring also includes assisting lawyers as they interview clients, conduct investigations, write motions, prepare witness examinations, and practice oral arguments. In general, the ILF seeks to empower and build the capacity of local legal service providers by providing them with the skills and ability to deliver client-centered, rights-based, comprehensive and holistic representation to all clients. 


International Fellows will also help plan and execute trainings with lawyers, paralegals, members of the local bar association and other justice sector stakeholders. They may also participate in meetings with government officials, other NGOs, and donors involved in rule of law projects, as representatives of the ILF. Fellows should be willing to work to develop the skills and capacity of managerial staff and other support staff and assist in developing supervision and office practices that improve operations and quality of legal representation. Through this process, International Fellows make pivotal, concrete contributions to the rule of law and legal aid reform.


Placements are dependent on current programming needs, developmental stage of the relevant office, and funding. Opportunities are ongoing, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 



Qualifications: 

  • 5+ years of experience practicing law in criminal defense or other relevant criminal justice direct service
  • Demonstrated expertise in providing quality legal representation
  • Experience training, supervising, or mentoring lawyers
  • Experience representing vulnerable populations preferred
  • Experience working in developing or transitional countries, and in high-risk and politically sensitive environments preferred


  • For Myanmar and Tunisia: Expertise in juvenile justice strongly preferred
  • For Palestine and Afghanistan: Demonstrated experience in change management required
  • For Indonesia: Trial lawyers


Local language skills are not required, but would be an asset.


How to Apply or for more information:

Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to fellows@theilf.org. Please include country program preferences and availability. Qualified candidates will be contacted for a first-round interview.


About the ILF

Every day, millions of people are trapped in jails around the world because they cannot afford a defense lawyer. The ILF is a non-profit organization founded to address this global crisis in access to justice. For nearly two decades, the ILF has fought to guarantee high-quality legal representation for everyone arrested or detained. Around the world, we provide quality criminal defense services and build sustainable, effective legal aid institutions. Currently, we provide direct legal services in Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Palestine and Tunisia and offer technical assistance worldwide. For more information, visit www.theilf.org.

The International Legal Foundation (ILF) is seeking lawyers with extensive criminal defense experience and legal aid institutional know-how to join its International Fellows program and provide training and capacity building to…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location

Location

315 West 39th Street, Room 507, New York, NY 10018

How to Apply

Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to fellows@theilf.org. Please include country program preferences and availability. Qualified candidates will be contacted for a first-round interview.

Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to fellows@theilf.org. Please include country program preferences and availability. Qualified candidates will be contacted for…

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