About Human Rights @ Duke Law

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Human Rights @ Duke Law provides an integrated approach to human rights education, advocacy and scholarship that places students at the intersection of human rights theory and practice, both domestically and abroad.

Through an extensive curriculum, Duke Law's international and comparative law faculty equips students to deepen their knowledge and critical assessment of human rights laws, institutions, advocacy, and scholarship. Experiential learning opportunities such as the International Human Rights Clinic and Advanced International Human Rights Clinic; summer and post-graduate fellowships, including a dedicated post-graduate fellowship in international law and human rights; and Duke Law's externship program, provide a bridge between these theoretical foundations and the skills necessary for domestic and international human rights advocacy, as well as to prepare students for the increasingly global nature of legal practice more generally.

Additionally, a rich and multi-faceted "Human Rights in Practice" series organized by the Center for International & Comparative Law (CICL) and the International Human Rights Clinic, as well as other human rights lectures, panels, and other events, provide opportunities to connect with leading human rights practitioners and scholars on cutting-edge human rights issues and to showcase the international and comparative scholarship of Duke Law faculty. Graduate degrees for international students and the Visiting Scholars Program diversify Duke Law's network of practitioners, scholars, and alumni, enriching the intellectual life and international and comparative law expertise at the Law School.

Through the JD/LLM in International & Comparative Law, as well as the student-edited Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law and a range of student organizations, such as the Human Rights Law Society and the International Law Society as well as the newly launched Human Rights Pro Bono Program, students have unique opportunities—including practice opportunities, study abroad, and scholarship—to develop the high-level skills and knowledge required for competitive placements in international and multilateral organizations, governments, and NGOs. The Duke-Leiden Institute in Global and Transnational Law is also offered as a one-month Summer residential program in The Hague, the Netherlands for students interested in studying international and comparative law.


Duke Law International Human Rights Clinic director, advisor, and students

Clinic students support work of novel truth commission in N.C.

Students conducted extensive research and analysis, data visualization, and reporting in support of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture hearings.

Call to Action Content

Image of U.S. currency behind chains and lock

Tightening the Purse Strings: What Countering Terrorism Financing Costs Gender Equality and Security

The report by the International Human Rights Clinic and Women Peacemakers Program analyzes how countering terrorism financing rules impact women’s rights organizing, women’s rights organizations, and gender equality.


Professor Laurence Helfer and UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Helfer elected as U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Committee

An expert in international law and human rights, Helfer will join an 18-member body that protects civil and political liberties and fundamental freedoms around the globe.