What Do Human Rights Lawyers Do? Examining Practice and Expertise in the Field

Publication Date


Document Type



In the past decades, human rights law and human rights lawyering have developed as substantial dimensions of international practice. To the extent it occurs in the domestic context, human rights lawyering primarily involves traditional lawyering skills and methods, but when it takes place outside the home country of the lawyer, it can raise novel and challenging issues. One substantial area of practice for human rights lawyers outside their home country occurs in the context of international field missions in post-conflict settings. However, this important and still emerging area of practice has been largely unexamined in the scholarly literature. Drawing upon empirical research involving interviews with human rights lawyers working in international field missions, this Article analytically engages with the everyday work of human rights lawyers - what human rights lawyers actually do. Human rights lawyers are called upon in their everyday work to fulfill many roles, some constituting traditional legal practice, but some unique to and shaped by the field context. This Article frames this everyday lawyering work in the field as the work of expertise, translation, reporting, and lawmaking.

Publication Title

Buffalo Human Rights Law Review





First Page


Last Page


Publisher Policy

publisher's pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library