Human Rights Lawyer: Profile and How to Become Him

As it is not surprising, human rights law is not considered a separate specialization. Lawyers who take up such cases can be experts in migration, environmental issues, mental illness, gender discrimination, criminology, property rights or insurance.

As a rule, crimes related to this area are associated with the abuse of certain civil liberties by authorities or individuals. The demand for similar specialists is explained by the implementation of the 1998 European Convention. The mentioned legislative act has greatly facilitated the protection of rights in many countries.

Career Profile: Human Rights Lawyer

Despite the presence of attorneys and private companies on human rights issues, an akin expert must have outstanding communication skills. Besides, he or she will quickly and sensitively respond to any changes. Such a person must be patient and tactful towards the client, as far as personal nuances are concerned.

His/her typical working day consists of talking, clarifying testimony, documenting trials and negotiating with opponents' defenders. One of the main requirements for the replenishment of the firm’s staff is high grades in all subjects of the course. You do not need to know all the laws by heart; it's enough to demonstrate your desire.

It should be clearly understood that you are going to devote your life to protect the interests of the humiliated and insulted. They may be the victims of blatant injustice or prejudice. Therefore, be ready to interact with representatives of national minorities, refugees or members of unpopular communities. As a solicitor, you must have a comprehending of the trends in education, medicine, and real estate.

5 Steps to Become a Human Rights Lawyer

Regardless of your preferences and the workplace, you should labor long and selflessly. Below is a list of recommendations that will aid to improve own competencies and stay among the top experts:

Get a Degree by Law

To date, there is no special test for acquiring the status of a human rights jurist. Nevertheless, in order to qualify for this profession, you need to obtain a bachelor's degree in jurisprudence, and then focus on your preferred position.

When studying at the university, attend courses in parallel related to the questions that interest you. Correct your resume as you progress along the career ladder. In addition, do not forget about disciplines of a narrow focus, such as constitutional law, the law on civil rights or education.

Practice testifies to the existence of numerous spheres intersecting with areas of human rights law. If you are not indifferent to the problems of women, you should focus on gender studies to deepen your knowledge. Do not be lazy to find discussion clubs that will play a quite positive role in the development of oratorical abilities.

Choose Your Specialization

As already noted, it is impossible to separate human rights from other spheres of life. The burden of all cases is the unfairness of the most vulnerable group of the population. However, the specifics may vary, affecting housing problems or employment.

Among jurists, one can meet both civil servants and collaborators of transnational corporations. It is significant for you to perceive the future vector of juridical practice and concentrate on research closely related to it. There are a lot of options, so your purpose is to seriously consider possible versions and stay at the most suitable one.


In the labor market, graduates with great experience, which they mined during and after learning, are in demand. To become a human rights lawyer, you can turn to any firm and offer them yourself as a trainee on a voluntary basis. You will not make big money, but you will see the nuances of the internal process.

It is best to work with non-governmental companies guided by the principles of humanity, rather than commerce. In this way, you will really comprehend the people’s needs in our chaotic world. Note that such organizations prefer to hire professionals with a narrow profile. Therefore, find a place for yourself in accordance with personal interests.

Another reliable way to gain experience is through free consultations. You may become a volunteer in one of the local offices and protect those who are unable to pay for a solicitor. If you are interested in human rights, compile a list of relevant firms and send them an application for an internship. Find a mentor ready to give you advice for the future.

Determine the Direction

Having gained testing, you should think about the vector of motion. I.e. you can focus on domestic or international rights. The latter specializes in laws of a regional or national level. Undoubtedly, such an opportunity dazzles a lot of newcomers who do not fully see the complexity of the profession.

Similar experts are able to take up the affairs of refugees who are outside their country. They must have strategic thinking, so as not to transform the trial into a universal conflict. In addition, it is not superfluous to know several popular foreign languages ​​as possess a rich experience. It may be obtained through programs, grants, internships or work in companies.

Do Not Be Guided Only by Money

If you are planning to build a career in the field of human rights protection, do not expect to earn huge capital. Jurists choose this area because of the chance to save lives, rather than a villa in the Canary Islands. Realizing that the material component is of great importance to you, it is better to abandon this venture.

What Exactly Does a Human Rights Lawyer Do?

Specialists in the indicated field are able to consider any problem from different points of view. They study the features of the functioning of social processes to provide a decent defense to their clients. Their time is spent on appeals, public speaking, investigating corrupt schemes, representing victims of genocide or discrimination, and other issues.

Attorneys have the necessary tools and resources to prosecute criminal offenses, provide humanitarian assistance, and draft laws or amendments to improve legislation. Besides, a lot of experts are famous for innovative approaches in the sphere of social ethics or entrepreneurship.

Thus, advocacy of human rights provides for familiarization with numerous things. First of all, you must firmly believe in the value of each individual in order to adequately defend his/her honor in the courtroom. The future of our planet depends on mutual respect and tolerance, which only true professionals are able to support.