Trade Attorney

Position: Trade Attorney

Organization: The Human Trafficking Legal Center

Location: Washington, D.C.

Employment Type: Full-time

Salary Range: commensurate with experience

Application Deadline: October 11, 2019

Anticipated Start Date: November 1, 2019

Position Description:

The Human Trafficking Legal Center (HT Legal) is seeking an experienced trade attorney to provide training and technical assistance to attorneys in the United States and abroad on the Tariff Act and forced labor in conducting investigations and submitting petitions under the U.S. Tariff Act. The Trade Attorney will work to increase awareness among civil society, government, business, and other stakeholders of the Tariff Act import ban as a mechanism to address forced labor in supply chains. The candidate will work with attorneys and advocates to push for greater accountability through enforcement of the forced labor import ban by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The successful candidate will provide technical assistance and training for civil society organizations on the Tariff Act, the TFTEA, petitions to CBP for withhold release orders (WROs), and strategic litigation for forced labor cases.

The Trade Attorney will work closely with the President, staff attorneys, and partner organizations to develop training priorities and schedules. The Trade Attorney will be responsible for collaborating with partner organizations to coordinate and execute trainings, with a goal of building the bench of attorneys and organizations worldwide able to submit petitions under the Tariff Act. The Attorney will also provide technical assistance to partner organizations submitting petitions. The Trade Attorney will partner with civil society organizations to fight for corporate accountability and the eradication of forced labor in global supply chains. The candidate will work to increase the capacity of civil society organizations to carry out investigations and submit petitions to the CBP under the Tariff Act mechanisms. The Attorney will work with workers’ rights organizations to discuss implications for workers and mitigate harm. This position will be based out of the Human Trafficking Legal Center’s Washington, D.C. office.


  • JD. degree from an accredited law school with a strong academic record
  • Must be admitted to a U.S. State Bar and in good standing; Admission to the District of Columbia is expected if not currently admitted
  • 2+ years of international trade experience, including import regulations and customs law, export control law and regulation under the Tariff Act and Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, and withhold release order (WRO) mechanism under the CBP
  • Knowledge of human trafficking issues and experience with anti-trafficking work highly desired
  • Excellent analytical research and writing skills, and strong interpersonal communication skills
  • Commitment to work collaboratively with partner organizations, NGOs, pro bono law firms, agency officials and staff, legislators, attorneys, and advocates working on these issues
  • Experience working with or representing vulnerable populations preferred
  • Strong organizational, time management, and communication skills with meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, with partner organizations, and as part of a team
  • Experience working in or with nonprofit organizations preferred
  • Ability to work well under pressure while managing multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively and to take initiative
  • Ability and willingness to collaborate across teams and cultures


  • Develop training materials and publications for civil society organizations on the Tariff Act, TFTEA, petitions to CBP for withhold release orders, and strategic litigation for forced labor cases
  • Coordinate and conduct domestic and international trainings and workshops for partner organizations, ensuring partners have full understanding of the types of evidence required under the Section 307 provision of the Tariff Act and the process by which complaints to CBP are submitted
  • Provide technical assistance to domestic and international civil society organizations filing petitions under the Tariff Act and advocating for the issuance of withhold release orders by the CBP, and to lawyers filing similar petitions in the United States
  • Encourage partnership with workers’ rights organizations, advocates, and NGOs to make sure that grantee’s Tariff Act advocacy is integrated into a larger conceptualization of the labor rights enforcement movement
  • Host listening sessions with partners to collect and address concerns regarding potential loss of jobs and harm to workers that may result from this advocacy
  • Monitor and track the number of petitions brought under the Tariff Act and the success of those petitions
  • Up to 30% travel, domestic and international

This is a full-time, salaried position. Regular hours are 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. Annual salary and benefits: compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits include vacation time (with an additional week off between Christmas and New Year’s), sick leave, retirement plan, and health insurance plan.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center empowers trafficked women, men, and children to seek justice. HT Legal leads national efforts to hold human traffickers accountable for their crimes and to raise awareness of victims’ rights. By linking trafficking victims with highly-skilled pro bono attorneys, HT Legal works to obtain criminal convictions, criminal restitution, and civil judgments against traffickers. With pro bono legal assistance, trafficking survivors can rebuild their lives.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, citizenship, age, religion, disability, status, genetic information, military status, or any other classification as provided by law.

This position is based in Washington, D.C. Authorization to work in the United States is required.

Applicants should submit a brief cover letter (including how you heard of this opening), resume, writing sample, and contact details for three references to [email protected]. Please no calls.