Legal Fellow – New York

About the Role

The Legal Fellow supports our organization’s Legal arm to more effectively secure the rights of users at risk. The Fellow’s activities will reach globally and speak deeply to pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and technology, including through: advancing norms and their implementation via strategic litigation; sharing legal expertise and resources with the Digital Rights Litigators Network; preventing and mitigating threats to Digital Security Helpline staff and clients, grantees, RightsCon participants, and others; and expanding civic space through legal research and advocacy against surveillance technology, sanctions overcompliance, and internet shutdowns. The role exists alongside a highly talented and dynamic group of lawyers, security experts, accountants, policy wonks, and specialists across five continents.

The position will utilize the Fellow’s legal education and will report directly to Tech-Legal Counsel, and work closely with the General Counsel. The Fellow will be provided appropriate training and supervision during the Fellowship period to ensure growth and progress toward a career in law and technology.


About Us
Access Now is an international human rights organization dedicated to defending and extending the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining technical support, policy
engagement, global advocacy, grassroots grantmaking, strategic litigation, and RightsCon convenings, we fight for human rights in the digital age.


What You Will Do
Key projects and responsibilities:

  • Conduct legal research on a wide range of human rights and technology issues
  • Lead and coordinate the Digital Rights Litigators Network, a global network of attorneys defending digital rights through litigation
  • Identify opportunities to support, lead, and maintain efforts toward legal accountability on digital rights topics
  • Assist with drafting and submitting interventions, amicus briefs, and expert opinions in state-level, regional, and international proceedings
  • Contribute to blog posts on emerging issues in telecommunications and human rights, such as the human rights responsibility of surveillance tech companies, and the fight
    against internet shutdowns
  • Track litigation relevant to our mission and work; update and maintain databases of international litigation involving internet shutdowns, digital ID, and other thematic areas.


You Should Have

Access Now seeks a motivated law graduate who is committed to digital rights and eager to
work in a fast paced, global civil society organization. The role requires:

● JD, LLM, or an equivalent advanced legal degree
● Excellent spoken, expository, and persuasive legal writing and editing skills, in English at minimum
● Precise attention to detail

Beyond the above, there is no comprehensive list of characteristics that we believe will be
indicative of a successful candidate. Please use the bullets below as a guide for experience and
characteristics for which we will be looking.

● Passionate about Access Now’s mission of defending fundamental rights and freedoms, online as well as offline
● Experience with legal analysis, writing, and filing in regional or international human rights forums
● Understanding of human rights law, the international political system, and/or the internet, with the ability to identify emerging issues and employ legal mechanisms
● Strong management of competing and urgent tasks vs long-term, sustained projects
● Excellent communicator, able to speak publicly to a room as well as privately with team members on- and off-line
● Deep respect for cultural identity – including gender identity, and linguistic and regional differences, and diversity – and how to support global teams
● Fluency in a language other than English
● Understanding of modern information and communications technologies


Location, Duration, and Format:
This is a full time, one (1) year unpaid fellowship commencing in the fall of 2020, based in our New York City office. The Fellow is expected to secure external sources of funding for the position.


To Apply:
Send an email with “Legal Fellow – [Your Name]” in the subject line to with the following documents attached:

● Résumé/CV
● Cover letter outlining your suitability for the role
● The names and contact details of two (2) references (only one may be academic)
● Writing sample (no longer than ten (10) pages)
If you would like to encrypt your application submission, please send it to using the following PGP Key: 0x676DA406, available at

Deadline: Rolling, until filled

Access Now believes a diverse, inclusive team makes us a stronger organization and better partner. We’re committed to being an equal opportunity employer, and to hiring persons of all
races, ethnicities, ages, nationalities, sexes, genders, sexual orientation or gender identities, marital status, religions, and disabilities. Women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and
members of other minority or marginalized groups are encouraged to apply.

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