Myanmar Bertha Justice Legal Fellow (Paid)

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Myanmar Bertha Justice Legal Fellow (Paid)

Location: Yangon, Myanmar

Position Title: Myanmar Bertha Justice Legal Fellow (Paid)

Location: Yangon, Myanmar

Reports To: Myanmar Legal Coordinator

Application Deadline: July 20, 2020

Start Date: September 1, 2020

EarthRights International is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, which we define as “earth rights.” We specialize in fact-finding, legal actions, training of grassroots and community leaders, and advocacy campaigns. EarthRights seeks to defend earth rights by working closely with communities to find real solutions that promote and protect human rights and the environment.

EarthRights International (EarthRights) is now seeking applications for the position of 2020-2022 Myanmar Bertha Justice Fellow. This fellowship is supported by the generosity of the Bertha Foundation, whose “Be Just” initiative is intended to “train the next generation of social justice and movement lawyers by funding two-year Fellowships at the best public interest law centers around the world, where emerging lawyers receive practical training from renowned professionals.” The fellowship is geared toward attorneys with less than two years’ experience in public interest law.

The Bertha Justice Fellowship is an exciting opportunity to be part of a dynamic and cutting-edge legal team. The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for an individual with a legal background to research, develop, and implement legal strategies with legal experts and communities in order to protect human and environmental rights in the region. The position is based in Yangon and requires frequent travel within Myanmar.

Summary Description

Under the supervision of the Myanmar Legal Coordinator (a Myanmar Advocate), the Bertha Fellow will support the work of the Myanmar Program to develop and implement legal strategies to protect human rights and the environment. The Fellow will participate in the formulation of national, regional and international legal strategies, community training programs in relation to potential legal actions, legal support for community leaders and civil society partners. The Fellow will work on ongoing civil and criminal litigation in the Myanmar courts in a team including Myanmar Advocates and foreign qualified lawyers. The Fellow will conduct legal research, writing, develop legal memorandums, policy proposals and will support workshops in collaboration with EarthRights staff, partners and associations.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Work with client communities, local partners, indigenous federations and staff in the Myanmar office to develop and implement legal strategies to protect human rights and the environment.
  • Work with the Myanmar Legal Team to develop and introduce national legal strategies to protect human rights and the environment.
  • Investigate cases in Myanmar that fit into the objectives of the organization and which could result in litigation.
  • Engage with domestic human rights pathways, such as National Human Rights Commissions, and in the formulation of regional and international legal strategies.
  • Perform legal research, advocacy, policy proposals, and workshops in collaboration with other NGOs and indigenous communities.
  • Work with Myanmar staff to design and implement strategies to increase the knowledge and capacity of affected communities in the area of indigenous rights, human rights and accountability mechanisms (i.e., via trainings and workshops).
  • Coordinate and participate in community training programs in relation to possible legal actions, and legal support to community/indigenous leaders.
  • Coordinate and participate in workshops to train activists and lawyers on indigenous and environmental rights affairs.
  • Participate in networking and other events organized by the Bertha Foundation as part of the Bertha Global Legal Fellows Program.

Required Qualifications and Experience

EarthRights International seeks candidates who meet the criteria below:

  • University degree in Law.
  • 2-3 years’ work experience in legal capacity.
  • Qualified to practice in Myanmar as a higher grade pleader.
  • Experience representing clients in criminal and / or civil litigation.
  • Experience with community organizing and engagement.
  • Commitment to human rights and environmental justice and legal professionalism.
  • Experience in the provision of training and workshops to communities.
  • Strong legal research and writing skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team and under strict deadlines.
  • Excellent analytical skills, good judgement, initiative.
  • Effective task management.
  • Experience or interest in working with people from diverse cultures.
  • Fluent in Burmese, proficiency or fluency in spoken English and proficiency in English reading and writing. Other Myanmar ethnic languages are preferred.
  • Proficient IT skills (email, Microsoft office).


This is a full-time two-year fellowship, beginning in September 2020. Full-time employment with EarthRights cannot be guaranteed at the end of the fellowship.

How To Apply


By July 20, 2020, candidates should send an email with the subject line “Myanmar Legal Fellow” to with the following documents:

  • Cover letter describing their interest in the position
  • CV or resume
  • List of 2-3 references with contact information
  • 3-5 pages of sample or extract of legal writing or writing on a relevant topic or issue without editing in Burmese and, if possible, also in English.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

EarthRights International is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and actively encourages people of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI people to apply.