Position Description – Legal Coordinator

Advocates for Alternatives (ACA) is seeking a lawyer with international human rights expertise to manage our legal docket and provide support to our legal partners throughout West Africa.  The intended start date for this position is January 2018.


Established in April 2016, ACA helps West African communities that are threatened by the destructive impacts of extractives-led development to take control of their own futures.  We do this by working with communities to design their own sustainable development plans and advocate to achieve those plans.  And we build networks of lawyers and other experts to help the communities’ plans come to fruition.  Based in Accra, Ghana, ACA has projects in communities in Ghana’s Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions, in addition to its collaboration and support programs for the Public Interest Lawyering Initiative for West Africa (PILIWA), a network of lawyers and legal advocates in eight West African countries.




The Legal Coordinator is responsible for day-to-day management of ACA’s legal partnerships and work involving legal strategies.  This includes both direct legal support for our projects in Ghanaian communities, and coordination of our work in and through PILIWA.  For the Ghana work, the Legal Coordinator will be supervised by ACA’s Ghana Programs Director; for the PILIWA work, the Legal Coordinator will be supervised directly by ACA’s Executive Director.  This position requires frequent travel, mostly within the West Africa sub-region.


Specifically, he or she will undertake the following:


  1. Coordinate PILIWA network
  • Manage PILIWA Small Grants and Legal Trainee Stipend Support Programs
  • Oversee monitoring and evaluation of existing grants
  • Coordinate regional litigation pursuant to PILIWA collaborative litigation strategy
  • Draft legal product for and in collaboration with PILIWA members
  • Provide technical and strategic advice to PILIWA members and Fellows on individual cases and organizational management
  • Assist in the organization of annual PILIWA conference and other subsidiary gatherings
  • Build relationships and collaborations with regional legal institutions, such as Bar Association and law schools
  • Coordinate the foundation of legal clinics and strengthen relationships with law schools in PILIWA network countries
  • Attend public interest and advocacy conferences taking place in PILIWA network countries
  • Recruit additional members for the PILIWA network in West Africa



  1. Provide legal support for partner communities in Ghana and Liberia
  • Deliver trainings for partner communities on legal topics, including land rights, rights to protest, and administrative processes relevant to community-driven development plans
  • Develop and implement proactive legal and other advocacy strategies to strengthen communities’ resilience to externally imposed, destructive development projects
  • Coordinate and support litigation for community defense, where necessary/appropriate


Required Qualifications:


  • Law degree (J.D., LL.B., or equivalent)
  • At least four years of work experience in human rights and/or environmental advocacy, including at least two years of post-graduate work as a legal practitioner
  • Familiarity and experience with national, regional, and international mechanisms and strategies to prevent and seek remedies for human rights abuses
  • Fluency in English and French
  • Willingness and ability to relocate to Ghana or other West African base of operations
  • Willingness and ability to travel widely in West Africa, including to remote rural areas


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Currently active certification to practice law in at least one jurisdiction
  • Authorization to reside and work in Ghana or other West African country
  • Familiarity and experience with cutting-edge knowledge management tools, including technological solutions for sharing information and communicating securely
  • Professional experience working in rural communities
  • Human rights fieldwork experience
  • Experience working with media (including social media)




ACA offers a compensation and benefits package that is competitive for legal positions in other West Africa-based non-profit organizations.  Payscale is commensurate with experience.


Application Procedure


Please submit the following to ACA’s Executive Director, Jonathan Kaufman, at

jonathan@advocatesforalternatives.org, with the subject header “ACA Legal Coordinator

Job Application”:

  • Cover letter explaining interest and relevant experience
  • Resume/CV
  • Writing sample of no more than 5 pages
  • List of three professional references


Application Deadline


November 30, 2017



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