Legal Trainee at The European Roma Rights Centre

Deadline: 31 July, 2015
Open to: 
candidates with a degree in law from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey or Ukraine
shall be commensurate with experience in accordance with the annual budget


The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) seeks a legal trainee familiar with the legal system of one of the non-EU Member States in which the ERRC is active (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine) to assist in litigating Roma rights, ethnic/race discrimination and related cases in domestic, European and international tribunals. The ERRC is a public interest law organisation that defends the human rights of Roma throughout Europe and serves as a legal resource centre for advocates working in this field. The ERRC pursues its objectives by engaging in legal representation, research, monitoring and reporting, human rights education and international advocacy.

The ERRC offers a traineeship which will last up to two years for recent law graduates. The trainee programme is designed to provide lawyers at the beginning of their legal careers with the training and skills needed to start a legal career that will have a positive impact on Roma communities. The aim in particular, for the legal trainee, during the course of the traineeship, is to pass the bar exam in the jurisdiction where s/he intends to practise. The traineeship is designed to start in autumn 2015 and so students currently finishing a law degree are free to apply.

There are two possibilities for the traineeship:

  1. The preferred option is to be based in the ERRC’s Budapest office; this option is only available to candidates who are able to work in English.
  2. A second option is to be based in one of the non-EU Member States where the ERRC is active, working under the direction of an ERRC legal consultant or a lawyer affiliated with the ERRC. This option is meant to deal with the situation where the preferred candidate is unable to work in English or is, for some other reason, unable to relocate to Budapest. The ERRC cannot guarantee that such an arrangement will be possible.

The programme is designed to be flexible to allow the trainee to advance her/his career, and may therefore include, for example, education leave to prepare for the national bar exam or magistracy exam, secondment to a law office at national level to complete a traineeship needed to become a fully qualified lawyer, or other professional development opportunities. The ERRC may be able to assist in identifying a suitable mentor at national level. Candidates who are currently preparing for their bar exams should feel free to apply. The ERRC will work with the successful candidate to design her/his traineeship.


Essential requirements

  • Significant experience living and/or working with Romani communities;
  • Knowledge of a language spoken by many Roma;
  • A law degree from one of the following countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey or Ukraine;
  • Knowledge of Roma-rights issues in Europe;
  • Solid legal reasoning skills;
  • A commitment to advancing Roma rights, particularly through law.


  • Ability to work in English;
  • Knowledge of other European languages;
  • Advanced studies of human rights law, anti-discrimination law and related fields;
  • Previous work experience (paid or unpaid) in law offices or NGOs;
  • Understanding of the language and legal systems in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and/or Serbia.


The traineeship is paid and shall be commensurate with experience in accordance with the annual budget. However, the trainee should pay for his/hers transportation costs and accommodation.

How to apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae, together with a legal writing sample and a list of two referees by email, before 31 July 2015, to: Hajnalka Nemeth,

Please mark the subject line: [First Name] [Surname] – legal trainee.

The letter and writing sample should be in English, if possible; however, ERRC will accept letters and writing samples in the language of any of the countries listed above. Please indicate clearly in your covering letter if you are not capable of working in English and therefore would prefer to be considered only for the second option (in-country placement) and interviewed in another language. ERRC cannot guarantee that could be able to conduct interviews in all languages and this may prevent them from considering your application.

While actual recruitment to all ERRC jobs is strictly on merit, the organisation strives to increase the number of persons of Roma origin in its staff and therefore specifically encourages candidates of Roma background to apply.

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