Human Rights Institute Career Advising Program

Leveraging the expertise of Human Rights Institute's (HRI) diverse in-house advocates and global networks, the program offers students highly tailored mentoring and advice about pursuing careers in human rights. The human rights field is expansive and constantly evolving, with multiple pathways and trajectories. HRI offers advice from leading practitioners with deep expertise in how to navigate the many different subject areas and types of human rights work. 

The program offers advising about:

  • A wide range of human rights areas, including corporate accountability, socioeconomic rights, armed conflict and counterterrorism, civil liberties, national security, transitional justice, environment and human rights, women’s rights, indigenous rights, inequality, international justice and criminal law, refugee and migration and other related issues. 
  • Pursuing careers in varied positions, such as at national and international NGOs, the United Nations, in government, inter-governmental organizations, academia, and law firms. 
  • How to understand and navigate the many types of human rights work, from social movement lawyering, to legal empowerment, national and international litigation, UN advocacy, fact-finding, capacity-building, education, and grantmaking and philanthropy. 
  • The many paths into human rights work, as well as career transitions, such as from national to international levels, practice into academia, and from corporate law firms to human rights. 

HRI’s team of career advisors are available to advise students from the moment of their admission to Columbia through to post-graduate, including on:

  • How to plan your JD or LLM degree, including courses, summers, experiential opportunities, and student leadership roles. 
  • Summer internships, including with NGOs, the United Nations, courts, and government agencies.
  • Review of application materials such as CVs and cover letters.
  • Preparing for job interviews, including hosting mock interviews. 
  • Postgraduate fellowships and job opportunities. 

HRI offers one-on-one individualized career mentorship and advising. Advisors will discuss with students their background, values, motivations, interests, and skills, and work with them to plan their degree and career. HRI also offers group advising, and brings in human rights advocates to offer career advice as part of regular lunch programming.

HRI’s career advising program is open to all students at Columbia Law School students and alumni. If you are a Columbia Law student or alum and would like to set up an advising appointment, please complete this form.