Wolfgang Kaleck founded the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) together with other internationally renowned lawyers in Berlin in 2007. Wolfgang Kaleck has served as General Secretary and Legal Director of the organization since its foundation.
Kaleck previously worked as a criminal law attorney at law firm Hummel.Kaleck.Rechtsanwälte, which he co-founded in 1991. Since 1998 he has been an advocate for the Koalition gegen Straflosigkeit (Coalition against Impunity) which fights to hold Argentinian military officials accountable for the murder and disappearance of German citizens during the Argentine dictatorship. Between 2004 and 2008, he worked with the New York Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to pursue criminal proceedings against members of the US military, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Kaleck is a member of the Centre of European Law and Politics at the University of Bremen (ZERP), the Forum for International and Criminal and Humanitarian Law (FICHL), the lawyers collective CCAJAR in Columbia and Mexican non-governmental organization ProDESC.
In recognition of his "tenacious and intrepid commitment for the victims of state and non-state violence" the German PEN Centre awarded Kaleck the 2014 Hermann Kesten Prize. On 15 October 2016, the Association of Democratic Lawyers (Vereinigung Demokratischer Juristinnen und Juristen – VDJ) in Germany presented the Hans Litten Prize to Kaleck and ECCHR Vice Legal Director Dr. Miriam Saage-Maaß. VDJ made the award in acknowledgment of Kaleck and Saage-Maaß's role in the strategic approach of ECCHR's work.
In June 2017, Kaleck was awarded the honorary prize for services to human rights by the Bruno Kreisky Stiftung in special recognition of his legal work within ECCHR.
In November 2018, he Bavarian Lawyer's Association (Bayerischer Anwaltverband) awarded the annual Max Friedlaender Prize to recognize Kaleck's "outstanding contributions to the law, the legal profession or society."