** This course meets the Professional Skills requirement for graduation.
HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC IS A 6-HR. CLINIC. STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR BOTH 397C AND 397D.
In the Human Rights Clinic, an interdisciplinary group of law students and graduate students work on human rights projects and cases from the advocate's perspective. Through working on specific projects and participation in the classroom component of the clinic, students learn substantive human rights law, practice important advocacy techniques and explore different models for ethical, responsible and effective human rights advocacy.
Students participating in the clinic take on primary responsibility for their cases and projects, with guidance and mentoring from the clinic faculty. The cases and projects handled by the Human Rights Clinic are diverse and illustrate the breadth of human rights practice, including fact finding, reporting and press and other public advocacy. The Clinic seeks to develop both theoretical and practical skills, through student involvement in activities such as supporting litigation of human rights claims in domestic and international fora; investigating and documenting human rights violations; supporting advocacy initiatives before United Nations, regional, and national human rights bodies; and engaging with global and local human rights campaigns.
In the past, students supported litigation in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR); and wrote reports documenting human rights abuses, legal briefs, background papers, advocacy papers and amicus briefs. The Clinic projects have encompassed the globe, exploring issues in a multiplicity of countries, such as Honduras, the United States, Kenya, Yemen, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, Ghana, Cambodia and Ecuador. Students have had the opportunity to conduct fact-finding missions in Argentina and Ghana.
The Clinic employs an innovative approach. While all the projects and cases entail working in partnership with international institutions national agencies and/or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), some of those projects will be part of long-term relationships with partner organizations and community activists to advocate for the advancement of specific rights. As part of this long term involvement, students will be offered the opportunity to work with their projects, through summer internships with our partner organizations. The Clinic has worked with many important international human rights organizations, such as the International Commission of Jurists, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the International Women's Rights Action Watch - Asia Pacific, the Justice Initiative of Open Society Institute, and Save the Children Sweden. Students have also had the opportunity to collaborate with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and with the United Nations Independent Expert on Minority Issues.
All the cases and projects involve research, writing, and an opportunity to discuss the strategies used by our organizational and individual partners. The cases and projects provide the students an opportunity to gain practical skills in partnering with other students, institutions, and organizations, thus forming a team of advocates. Finally, all the projects and cases allow a multidisciplinary approach and permit working across disciplines and use the perspectives of different fields to enhance the overall theoretical framework.
In addition to selecting the Clinic during Early Registration, students must fill out a short application