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Career as Human Rights Lawyer

Career as a Human Rights Lawyer

About Human Rights Lawyer

Human rights lawyer works at the forefront to provide legal counsel to the victims of human rights violations. These lawyers have the duty to protect the fundamental rights of individuals as human beings. Human rights are the freedoms that everyone is provided with from birth until death. The duty of human rights lawyers is to safeguard and defend the basic rights of people. They are generally termed as civil rights lawyer too. Some of the cases that a human rights lawyer tackle comprises violated rights of marginalised groups, indigenous groups, refugees, LGBTI, women, children etc.

Human rights lawyer deals with a multitude of tasks that includes drafting of important legal documents, negotiating difficult settlements, performing research on legal cases and defending human rights cases in court. With the demand for human rights lawyers increasing in the world, many aspirants are willing to join the profession. A good human rights lawyer possesses analytical and critical thinking skills, eloquent communication skills, strong deductive reasoning skills and the ability to effectively argue for a case.

Eligibility to become Human Rights Lawyer

A human rights lawyer is highly educated and experienced. It requires immense knowledge and practical foresight to defend violations of human rights. Mentioned ahead are the minimum eligibility requirements that an aspirant need to have to become a successful human rights lawyer.

  • It is essential for the candidates to earn a law degree from an accredited and recognized law university/school and pass a state bar exam.
  • Candidates can also go for specialisation in human rights for getting more profound knowledge of the subject. It also provides them with better insight into the violations of human rights.
  • For becoming a human rights lawyer some serious legal experience is required. Aspirants are required to start practising by interning or working under a human rights lawyer. It helps them in gaining experience.
  • Candidates can also choose to volunteer for an organisation that specialises in human rights for the sake of acquiring knowledge and experience.

Types of Job Roles Human Rights Lawyer

Job roles and opportunities are wide for a human rights lawyer. With the adequate qualification, sufficient experience and apt skills, a human rights lawyer can work anywhere in the globe. They can work for government sectors, private firms and NGOs. Check out the possible job roles and profiles for a human rights lawyer.

Professor: The duty of the professor is to impart knowledge related to human rights through immense research, service and training.

Journalist: The responsibility of a journalist specialised in human rights is to collect information, research and report the details to the general public.

Social Worker: A social worker works towards alleviating and upholding the rights of individual, community and society.

Researcher: The role of a researcher is to study and document the observations and developments made in a specific topic.

Government Lawyer: A government lawyer of human rights provides legal council and defends the violated members of the society.

Author: They formulate write-ups based on human rights issues and promotes its value in society. 

Solicitor: The duty of a legal practitioner or a solicitor is to traditionally deal with the legal matters with some jurisdictions.

Barrister: They are responsible for courtroom litigation and advocacy and providing expert legal advice.

Social and Human Service Assistants: They lend client services to the victims of human rights. They assist social workers or community services for the same. 

Employment Opportunities for a Human Rights Lawyer

Job opportunities for a human rights lawyer arise from multiple sector and industries. Captured below are few of the prime sectors that hire a human right lawyer.

  • Private Practice
  • Supreme Courts
  • High Courts
  • Colleges/Institutes/Universities
  • NGOs
  • Media Houses
  • National Human Rights Commission
  • National Commission for Women
  • Real Estate Companies

Top Recruiting Companies for Human Rights Lawyer

Most of the human rights lawyer either do private practice or they work under established or experienced human rights lawyer. Vrinda Grover, Menaka Guruswamy, Indira Jaising and Karuna Nundy etc. are some of the popular lawyers that have contributed magnificently to human rights. Check out some of the top recruiting companies for human rights lawyer.

  • Human Rights Law Network
  • Managium Juris
  • PathLegal
  • Amnesty International India
  • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
  • S S Global Law Firm
  • Taneja Law Office
  • People’s Union for Civil Liberties
  • Child Rights and You

Planning to choose Human Rights Lawyer as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Human Rights Lawyer

The job prospects for a human rights lawyer are many. Check out the pay salary/scale that an aspirant might get after entering into the field. 

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum 

Mid Level Salary per annum

Senior Level Salary per annum









Social Worker








Government Lawyer
















Books & Study Material to Become Human Rights Lawyer

In order to be a significant Human Rights Lawyer, it is necessary to be equipped with immense knowledge and dedication. Mentioned below are some books that one can refer either to prepare for popular law entrance exams or to gain knowledge.

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The Idea of Natural Rights by Brian Tierney
  • The Law of Peoples by John Rawls
  • On Human Rights by James Griffin
  • Making Sense of Human Rights by James Nickel

Pros of becoming a Human Rights Lawyer

  • Human rights lawyers are provided with the utmost respect. They are seen with immense appreciation as they uphold justice for the people in the society.
  • A human rights lawyer is filled with satisfaction and gratitude as the job involves contributing to the betterment of society.
  • Human rights lawyers are paid really well. They have a good salary package along with other benefits and perks.

Cons of becoming a Human Rights Lawyer

  • The work of a human rights lawyer can get pretty stressful and exhausting.
  • It involves a lot of research and reading which take up most of the time of the lawyer. Also, building their career to the optimum level is time-consuming.
  • There is no fixed timing of working hours and it ends up messing up with the balanced life of an individual

Paths for Being Human Rights Lawyer

FAQs about Human Rights Lawyer

How much does a government Human Rights Lawyer earn?

The salary of a government Human Rights Lawyer ranges between Rs. 5 lakhs per annum to Rs. 12 lakhs per annum. The package increases as the individual gains more experience and is promoted to a senior level.

Which are the top recruiting companies of Human Rights Lawyers?

Some leading companies and organisations that hire Human Rights Lawyers are Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Human Rights Law Network, Child Rights and You, and Amnesty International India.

What are the employment sectors in which Human Rights Lawyers are hired?

Human Rights Lawyers are hired in both private and public sectors. Some of the areas in which they are recruited are supreme court, high courts, universities, real estate companies, NGOs, media houses, etc.

What are the job roles for Human Rights Lawyers?

The job opportunities for Human Rights Lawyers are professor, government lawyer, social worker, barrister, judge, human service assistant, solicitor, etc.

How many years of experience are required to become a Human Rights Lawyer?

Usually, candidates can become Human Rights Lawyers with a practise of around 4 - 5 years. Depending upon the firm and job role, the requirement of experience may vary.

How much is a Human Rights Lawyer’s salary?

The average salary of a Human Rights Lawyer in India is Rs. 6 - 7 lakhs per annum. Experienced professionals in this role at good firms can earn up to Rs. 12 - 16 lakhs per annum.

How can I become a Human Rights Lawyer?

For becoming a Human Rights Lawyer, you need to first complete your higher education in the field of law. For that you have to enrol in a good law college. It is compulsory for you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in law. You will also have to do a good number of internships while pursuing your degree.

Which colleges are good for Human Rights Law?

The leading law colleges in India for the course of Human Rights Law include the NLUs (National Law Universities), Symbiosis Law School (SLS), Jindal Global Law School, Faculty of Law - University of Delhi, etc.

Which course should I pursue for a career as a Human Rights Lawyer?

In order to build a career as a Human Rights Lawyer, you will be required to have a degree in law. Both bachelor and masters level degrees are acceptable. An integrated law course or an LLB degree is mandatory.

What does a Human Rights Lawyer do?

A Human Rights Lawyer provides legal counsel to the victims of human rights violations. The responsibility of these lawyers is to protect the fundamental rights of individuals as human beings.

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