The Most Famous Human Rights Lawyer, Ranked

Choose the human rights lawyer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 29, 2024 07:45
Determining the most influential human rights lawyers can be a challenging task due to the range of impactful work being done in this field across the globe. By ranking these professionals, we can offer a snapshot of those whose legal battles and advocacy have a significant imprint on societal changes and individual rights protection. Our interactive list allows you, the users, to vote and influence the rankings, reflecting the collective opinion on which lawyers are leading the way in defending human rights. Your participation ensures that the list remains current and dynamic, responding to new developments and achievements in the field of human rights law.

Who Is the Most Famous Human Rights Lawyer?

  1. 1

    Amal Clooney

    A British-Lebanese barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specializing in international law and human rights.
    • Notable Case: Represented Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, in his fight against extradition.
    • Education: Oxford University; New York University School of Law
  2. 2

    Bryan Stevenson

    An American lawyer, social justice activist, founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and a law professor at New York University School of Law.
    • Notable Work: Author of 'Just Mercy', a story of justice and redemption.
    • Education: Harvard Law School; Harvard School of Government
  3. 3

    Shirin Ebadi

    An Iranian lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran.
    • Notable Achievement: Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
    • Education: University of Tehran
  4. 4

    Geoffrey Robertson

    A British human rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster.
    • Notable Case: Defended Salman Rushdie in the aftermath of the fatwa issued for his novel 'The Satanic Verses'.
    • Education: University of Sydney; Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University
  5. 5

    Juan Méndez

    An Argentine lawyer and human rights activist known for his work on behalf of political prisoners.
    • Notable Position: Served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.
    • Education: Stella Maris University in Mar del Plata; Harvard Law School
  6. 6

    Hina Jilani

    A Pakistani human rights lawyer and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
    • Notable Work: Co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
    • Education: Graduated from Kinnaird College and Punjab University Law College.
  7. 7

    Thulani Maseko

    A Swazi human rights lawyer known for his activism and legal work in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
    • Notable Case: Imprisoned for criticizing the judiciary in Eswatini.
    • Education: University of Swaziland; University of Pretoria
  8. 8

    Beatrice Mtetwa

    A Zimbabwean lawyer and human rights activist known for her work in defending journalists and opposing government repression.
    • Notable Work: Received the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize in 2009.
    • Education: University of Botswana and Swaziland; University of Warwick
  9. 9

    Chen Guangcheng

    A Chinese civil rights activist who worked on human rights issues in rural areas of the People's Republic of China.
    • Notable Escape: Escaped house arrest in 2012, seeking refuge in the US Embassy in Beijing.
    • Education: Self-taught legal scholar
  10. 10

    Mohamed Fahmy

    An Egyptian-Canadian journalist and author known for his human rights activism and wrongful imprisonment in Egypt.
    • Notable Work: Founded the Fahmy Foundation for Free Press to advocate for journalists' rights.
    • Education: Bachelor's degree from Cairo University; completed a course in International Human Rights Law at Harvard University.

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous human rights lawyer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Advocate is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 136 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Advocate once every 24 hours. The rank of each Advocate is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Human Rights Lawyer

Amal Clooney
Rank #1 for the most famous human rights lawyer: Amal Clooney (Source)
Human rights lawyers fight for justice. They defend people whose rights are at risk. They work in courts to protect freedoms. Their work often involves speaking out against powerful entities. These entities can be governments or large organizations. The fight for human rights can be dangerous. Many lawyers face threats and harassment. Despite these risks, they continue their work.

Human rights lawyers often start their careers with a strong sense of justice. They study law with a focus on human rights. This field requires a deep understanding of both national and international laws. They need to be well-versed in treaties and conventions. These documents outline the rights of individuals. Lawyers use them to build their cases.

The work of human rights lawyers is varied. They might represent individuals in court. They may also work with groups seeking justice. Some cases involve torture, unlawful detention, or discrimination. Lawyers gather evidence and present it in court. They argue that their clients' rights have been violated. Winning such cases can lead to significant changes. It can set legal precedents that protect others in the future.

Human rights lawyers also work outside the courtroom. They raise awareness about human rights issues. They write reports and articles. These documents highlight abuses and call for action. Lawyers often collaborate with non-governmental organizations. Together, they campaign for changes in laws and policies. This work can influence governments and international bodies.

The career of a human rights lawyer is demanding. It requires dedication and resilience. The cases are often complex and emotionally taxing. Lawyers must maintain a high level of professionalism. They need to be persuasive and articulate. Their arguments must be clear and convincing.

Human rights lawyers often work in difficult conditions. They may travel to conflict zones or areas with high levels of poverty. They meet clients who have suffered greatly. These interactions require empathy and sensitivity. Lawyers must balance their emotional responses with their professional duties.

The impact of human rights lawyers is profound. They give a voice to the voiceless. They hold powerful entities accountable. Their work can lead to changes in laws and practices. These changes can improve the lives of many people. The fight for human rights is ongoing. New challenges arise as societies evolve. Human rights lawyers must adapt to these changes. They continue to learn and grow in their field.

The legacy of human rights lawyers is significant. They inspire future generations to pursue justice. Their work shows the importance of standing up for what is right. They remind us that the fight for human rights is crucial. It is a fight that affects us all.

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