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Columbia University Assistant Director of Human Rights and Public International Law in New York, New York

Position Summary

The Assistant Director will have primary responsibility for the design and implementation of all human rights and public international law programs and advising services in the office of Social Justice Initiatives (“SJI”). The incumbent will also, as part of the SJI team, generally support the mission of the office in providing advising, programming, networking and community building activities for Columbia Law students and alumni interested in public interest, government, human rights and public international law practice.


  • Advises individual JD students (of all class years) and alumni interested in summer internships, fellowships, post-graduate employment and professional development in international human rights and public international law.

  • Implements the Human Rights Internship Program, including (a) planning and overseeing the mandatory training and orientation program; (b) organizing and hosting a post-summer debriefing meeting; (c) performing an evaluation of the host organizations; and (d) recruiting students to participate.

  • Develops and executes digital and in-person programming on human rights and international public international law for JD students and supports participants in the Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program as needed.

  • Provides basic advising services to LLM students who are seeking employment in international human rights or public international law. This includes (a) developing and staffing an online LLM advising portal to review submitted written application materials; (b) holding drop in hours and group meetings for LLMs; (c) providing a limited number of individual advising appointments for LLMs; (d) providing limited programming targeted for LLMs as needed.

  • Maintains and expands strategic relationships with human rights and international public law organizations, including, but not limited, to those that may provide Columbia Law School students or alumni with internships, job opportunities or fellowships.

  • Revises publications and web content regarding internships, careers and professional development in human rights and public international law; develops new content, including social media.

  • Oversees the administration of Columbia Law School’s post-grad international fellowships, including identifying eligible students, organizing selection committee meetings and working with the Development and Alumni Relations Office to ensure that funder reports are submitted in a timely manner.

  • Participates in SJI programming and activities for JD students as needed. Speaks at SJI-sponsored and outside events; represents SJI at relevant meetings at the Law School and elsewhere; performs outreach to Columbia Law student groups including affinity groups.

  • Work with students, faculty and staff on appropriate projects of the Human Rights Institute and Human Rights Clinic, as time allows and upon approval of the Dean for SJI.

  • Works closely with the Office of Career Services, the Human Rights Institute, Law School faculty and others to harmonize public service and corporate professional development programs.

  • Performs additional responsibilities as assigned and requested.

Minimum Qualifications

  • J.D. degree required. At least 3-5 years of professional experience as a human rights/international public law practitioner and/or a law school advisor regarding these fields. Superior research, oral and written communication skills (including public speaking), outstanding interpersonal and organization skills and computer literacy required. Ability to design and manage own projects with minimal supervision, to be part of a diverse, collegial team, to work under pressure and to balance competing responsibilities necessary. Strong interest in working with students required. Availability for occasional US and international travel as well as occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.