Human Rights Litigation and Advocacy Clinic – 7400

Spring 2024

NOTE: This clinic will only be offered in the spring for the 2023-24 academic year.

This clinic provides students with experience in human rights advocacy, which may include litigation in federal or state courts and advocacy before the United Nations, the federal and state legislative and executive branches, and working for nongovernmental organizations.

Students in the Clinic will work on supervised clinical projects and skill-building exercises. The process will facilitate discussion of the pros and cons of various advocacy mechanisms, possible conflicting strategies among different stakeholders, and how particular strategies are chosen and implemented.

The Clinic has a fall weekly class component, and depending on case and project needs, weekly classes may continue in the spring. These classes will include core lawyering skills such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, legal ethics in practice, and specific human rights subjects such as how to practice before international human rights systems, how to use international law sources in legal arguments before U.S. state and federal courts, working with clients with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the effects on attorneys of secondary trauma, the different types of oral advocacy and writing in human rights advocacy and the use of education, outreach and the media in advancing a strategy.

Additional Commitments: For both semesters, students are required to attend weekly meetings with their case teams to discuss client cases.

What to expect when working on cases and with clients: The clinic is designed to expose you to a range of work in a variety of types of human rights work such as litigation in U.S. courts, advocacy before the international human rights system and work with clients, activists, and attorneys in other countries. Students will have the opportunity to focus on particular areas of interest and expand skills in those areas, as well as to build skills in previously unexplored areas.

NOTE: This course requires certification pursuant to the student practice rule and is open to JD students only.