International Human Rights Clinic
The International Human Rights Clinic enables students to critically engage with cutting-edge human rights issues, strategies, tactics, institutions, and law in both domestic and international settings.
Through weekly seminars, fieldwork and travel, students develop a range of practical tools and skills needed for human rights advocacy – such as fact-finding, litigation, indicators, reporting, and messaging – that integrate interdisciplinary methods and new technologies. Students also develop competencies related to managing trauma in human rights work, as well as the ethical and accountability challenges of human rights lawyering.
Types of clinic projects include those that: apply a human rights framework to domestic issues (e.g., gun violence); involve human rights advocacy abroad (e.g., rules to counter terrorism financing); engage with international institutions to advance human rights (e.g., on trafficking in persons); and/or address human rights in U.S. foreign policy (e.g., state-level truth inquiries on U.S. post-9/11 national security practices). Students work closely with grassroots organizations, novel transitional justice institutions, international NGOs, and U.N. human rights experts and bodies to further the promotion and protection of human rights.
In addition to advancing my international law research skills and learning how to draft carefully and precisely, I learned to analyze and synthesize different viewpoints, finding a principled and sustainable middle ground on issues that are politically contentious and much-debated.