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Human Rights Counsel at Center for Reproductive Rights

Center for Reproductive Rights


Mid Level

New York, NY, USA


29 Aug → 28 Sep


Job Description

Job Title: Human Rights Counsel

Department: U.S. Programs, U.S. Human Rights

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the global leader in using the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights. Headquartered in New York City, the non-profit, non-partisan organization has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Nairobi, and Washington, DC, and a staff of approximately 200 diverse professionals. The Center's compelling human rights mission and reputation for excellence and cutting-edge legal work has powered its exceptional growth trajectory to an operating budget of over $40 million and won the respect of the world's leading law firms, as reflected in the additional $29 million annually in donated legal services, representing the work last year of 820 lawyers in 46 countries.

The overarching goal of the Center's new Strategic Plan sets a high mark for impact: By 2030, half of the world's population will be living under stronger protections for reproductive rights than they do today. The Center has a track record of success to back up this ambitious goal. Since its founding in 1992, the Center's game-changing litigation and advocacy, 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 on issues including maternal health, contraception, abortion, and assisted reproduction. It has won 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 60 countries and counting.

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to To learn more about our DEI Organizational Commitments, go here.

The Role: The Human Rights Counsel reports directly to the Senior Human Rights Counsel, US Human Rights and is a key member of a small collaborative team that advances the Center's work to integrate international human rights norms and strategies to advance the full spectrum of reproductive rights in the United States, including access to abortion, safe and respectful maternal health care, and equitable access to assisted reproduction. The primary focus of the incoming Human Rights Counsel will be to support the Center's U.S. assisted reproduction work. The scope of that work includes legislative and policy advocacy to promote equitable access to fertility care without discrimination, ensure that laws and policies legalizing and regulating surrogacy are human rights based and protect the rights of all parties, and fighting embryo personhood efforts in legislation and litigation.

The US Human Rights team works in close collaboration with teams across the Center's US department, including the US Federal and State Policy and Advocacy teams, US Litigation, and US Judicial Strategy. The US Human Rights team also regularly collaborates with other Center departments and regional program teams, including Communications, Development, Pro Bono and Global Advocacy.

The Human Rights Counsel will be based in New York City in a hybrid work model. Covid-19 vaccination is required for all US-based employees of the Center.

Critical Competencies:
Strategic thinking: Applies big-picture thinking while also focusing on the details of implementation.
Decisiveness: Consistently makes sound decisions in a timely manner supportive of the Center's mission, core values, and strategic objectives. Blends vision and judgment.
Collaboration: Brings a track record of working effectively with various and diverse individuals and groups, and a willingness to actively listen and invite different views and opinions across all levels of the institution to build alignment in support of a common goal.
Receives and Provides Direct Feedback: Actively gives and requests feedback to and from peers, supervisors and direct reports (if applicable) about work products, behaviors, values, style and approaches with a view on how this impacts self, other individuals and teams.
Transparency: Consistently applies openness and honesty in communicating decisions and plans to team members.
Commitment to learn: Applies a growth mentality to their own and their team's (if applicable) development. Promotes a culture of learning by modeling inquisitiveness and an openness to viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Passion for Coaching, and Mentoring Staff: Empowers and motivates employees and creates opportunities for learning, development, and leadership, with a focus on harnessing skills for the future development of team members. (if applicable)
Accountability: Follows through on each commitment made to individual contributors, teams and partners and proactively informs others of any delays that occur along the way. Holds team members accountable.
Integrity: Possesses impeccable integrity and personal and professional values that are consistent with the Center's high standards and mission.
Empathy: Serves as an empathetic, approachable leader who engenders trust and confidence. (if applicable)
Adaptability/Flexibility: Demonstrates comfort with ambiguity and calculated risk.

Compensation: The annual salary for this position is $99,000 commensurate with experience. This salary is reflective of a position based in NYC. This salary will be subject to a locality adjustment, if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.

The Center covers up to 95% of the premium of a comprehensive health insurance plan with no deductible and best on the market ART/infertility coverage. The Center also contributes 7.5% of an employee's salary to a 401(k) account beginning after the first year of employment. The Center also supplies a generous PTO offering.

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.

To learn more about our DEI Organizational Commitments, go here. 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.

Please note that all genuine Center openings must be applied through the Center website. The Center does not charge a fee at any stage in the recruitment process (application, interviews, or selection). Nor does it request any medical examinations or bank account inform as part of this process. If someone contacts you on behalf of the Center requesting payment for your application please notify [email protected] before taking any further action.

Job Responsibilities

  • Support the Senior Human Rights Counsel to grow the Center's assisted reproduction work, including the development and implementation of proactive policy, advocacy, and legal strategies that incorporate a human rights framework
  • Work closely with members of the State Policy and Advocacy team to advance an integrated state policy strategy that addresses abortion, maternal health, and assisted reproduction
  • Develop and maintain expertise in assisted reproduction policy issues by researching and analyzing contemporary and emerging issues on assisted reproduction using a human rights framework
  • Help develop legislative and policy strategies to advance state legislation, regulations, policies, and guidance that will promote the Center's assisted reproduction work, including ensuring equitable access to fertility care for individuals and communities in the U.S. who face multiple forms of discrimination
  • Support the Center's position as a go-to resource on assisted reproduction law and policy and continue to cultivate, build, and sustain relationships with key state partners
  • Provide legal and substantive policy expertise and technical assistance to state advocates and lawmakers on laws, regulations, and policies that impact assisted reproduction in the U.S., including promoting equitable access to fertility care without discrimination
  • Monitor and respond to state policy developments and activities that may impact assisted reproduction law and policy, including by conducting research and analysis on state assisted reproduction law and policy issues and working collaboratively to identify creative solutions to policy problems
  • Support the Senior Human Counsel in UN advocacy to advance our U.S. Assisted Reproduction goals and objectives
  • Work in meaningful coalition with Center partners on assisted reproduction, including state and national LGBTQ, Reproductive Justice, and infertility advocacy partners and organizations to advance shared goals, including centering the expertise and experience of directly impacted stakeholders
  • Draft materials for use in advocacy activities and public education efforts, including fact sheets, talking points, and legal analyses issue briefs
  • Work closely with colleagues across the organization, including Communications and Development, to ensure a coordinated approach to assisted reproduction advocacy and contribute where appropriate to cross-department efforts, including litigation and federal policy and advocacy
  • Represent the Center at public events, conferences, and coalition meetings
  • Participate actively in program planning and budgeting
  • Participate in the U.S. Assisted Reproduction Project Team
  • As needed, collaborate with senior staff, Pro Bono, Judicial Strategy, and other colleagues to recommend and draft amicus briefs on assisted reproduction cases that raise constitutional issues
  • As needed, support the US Human Rights team's human rights accountability work
  • Note: May supervise interns as needed

Requirements / Qualifications

  • Strong commitment to the Center's mission, purpose, core principles and values

  • J.D. required

  • Admission to the New York state bar is required. If not currently admitted to the NY Bar, candidate must be admitted to the bar of another state and agree to become admitted to the NY Bar within eighteen months

  • Minimum of 3 years legal experience

  • Demonstrated interest in assisted reproduction and the Center's human rights-based approach

  • Strong interest in and understanding of the human rights and reproductive justice frameworks and in opportunities to advance reproductive rights in the U.S. using these frameworks

  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills

  • Ability to maintain a high level of expertise in the relevant subject matter

  • Outstanding legal analysis skills, including the ability to develop complex legal arguments, analyze legislation and regulations, and develop complex legal arguments to respond to and improve legislation and/or litigation strategy/arguments, consistent with role.

  • Excellent organizational and time management skills including ability to self-motivate, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, and provide quick turnaround of assignments while collaborating in a team

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong ability to work collaboratively with internal colleagues and external partners to co-create strategies and solutions, share information, trust, and decision-making, and advance priorities through principled, collective effort, including an ability to recognize when others should lead and an ability to prioritize centering the voices of those most impacted by our work

  • Ability to juggle own workload

  • Ability to prioritize and triage work responsibilities when necessary

  • Ability to uplift and support program specific work and goals while balancing with the Center's strategic priorities and mission

  • Ability to find synergies among the different teams across US Programs and the Center

  • Ability to provide guidance and direction to interns and fellows to support their professional development and career growth

  • Demonstrates ability/capacity to foster/support DEI in a professional setting and a track record on being able to apply a racial justice lens in analysis, advocacy and in partnerships

How To Apply

Apply through LegalJobs.

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