Legal Advisor – Africa

Legal Advisor – Africa

Legal Advisor – Africa

Legal Advisor – Africa

February 7, 2023
Washington, DC
Position type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel required?
Base salary (minimum)
Not specified


Position Description

Do you want to protect civic space and promote an enabling environment for civil society in Africa? The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is looking for a creative, strategic, and highly motivated lawyer to join our Sub-Saharan Africa program team. The Legal Advisor will be based in ICNL’s Washington, DC office. This is a full-time position, with significant travel. The Legal Advisor will help design and implement ICNL’s programs in Central, East and Horn, Southern and West Africa, as well as work with regional, continental and global multilateral institutions.

ICNL promotes the freedoms of association, assembly, expression, and public participation in countries around the world, including in more than 35 countries in Africa. Our work on civic space focuses on themes such as digital rights, philanthropy, counterterrorism and security, and climate change. ICNL engages with civil society, state actors and legislative representatives, and multilateral institutions including the African Union’s human rights mechanisms and the United Nations, including its Special Rapporteur on the Freedoms of Peaceful Assembly and of Association.


Under the direction of ICNL’s Vice President – Programs, the Legal Advisor – Africa will collaborate with leading African civil society representatives, government officials, lawyers, academics, media practitioners and other stakeholders to improve laws and policies impacting civic space. Illustrative duties include:

  • Designing and implementing multi-year country and regional programs that support civil society organizations (CSOs) to improve the laws and practices governing their fundamental rights.
  • Strengthening coalitions of CSOs, movements, and individuals seeking to improve laws governing fundamental rights and facilitating regional sharing and learning.
  • Drafting legal analyses, briefers, infographics, etc. for use by CSOs, government officials, parliamentarians, academics, and the media.
  • Undertaking cutting-edge research on issues impacting civic space, such as climate justice, counter-terrorism, and digital technology.
  • Conducting in-person and virtual trainings to strengthen knowledge on the freedoms of association, assembly, expression, and participation.
  • Developing handbooks, training materials, and other tools on fundamental rights.
  • Managing a portfolio of civic space grants and providing technical assistance to grantees and other partners at country and regional levels.
  • Assisting in program development.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Law degree from an accredited school;
  • At least 5 years of professional legal experience in international policy, civil society, or human rights;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of civic space issues in Africa;
  • Experience engaging with continental and global multilateral institutions;
  • Experience organizing and conducting trainings and workshops;
  • Excellent research, analytical, writing, and presentation skills;
  • Proven ability to engage constructively with civil society, government, and other sectors;
  • Experience in program strategy and design as well as project management;
  • Experience in program development/grant writing is an advantage;
  • Fluency in English (French or Portuguese is an advantage);
  • Willingness to travel extensively;
  • Experience working in challenging political environments; and
  • Legal authorization to work in the U.S. and willingness to live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Application Process

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through February 28, 2023. Please send a cover letter, CV, law school transcript, and writing sample to The subject line should state “Legal Advisor – Africa.” Please indicate where you saw this listing. Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls or emails to ICNL staff, please. ICNL is an equal opportunity employer.

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