Information for Students

International Human Rights Law Clinic students design and implement creative solutions to advance the global struggle for the protection of human rights. Students are assigned to work on a wide variety of innovative human rights projects to advance human rights of individuals and marginalized communities. Clinic students prepare and conduct litigation before national and international judicial forums concerning human rights violations. They also engage in interdisciplinary empirical studies of the impact of human rights abuses--research that aims to achieve policy outcomes. Clinic projects frequently involve policy analysis and the drafting of statutes and standards to govern the conduct of state and non-state actors.

Students who enroll in the semester-long International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) work under the supervision of Laurel E. Fletcher, the Clinic Director and Professor of Clinical Law, Roxanna Altholz, Associate Director, and Allison Davenport, Clinical Instructor. IHRLC students are required to enroll in the Clinic as well as its companion seminar. The clinical component is four credits. Students work in teams of 2-4, devoting approximately 16 hours per week on their projects (the actual number of hours may vary from week-to-week). Students meet with their assigned teams and faculty supervisor every week throughout the semester. Students may travel for their projects, including during school breaks. Clinic work is graded C/NC.

The two-credit companion seminar offers a forum for exploring the links between legal theory and the students’ cases and projects. Co-taught by Professors Fletcher, Altholz, and Davenport the seminar provides training on substantive human rights norms, exposes students to the various types of human rights work (monitoring, litigation, policy, legislation, research, etc.), encourages student to think critically about the goals and trade-offs of human rights methodologies, offers a structured context in which to reflect on the lawyering process, and provides students with the opportunity through student-led class sessions to present aspects of casework for group feedback and discussion (e.g. ethical problems, presentations, written advocacy, etc.). 

Enrollment in the Clinic (4 units per semester) and Seminar (2 units) is by permission. Because of project demands, Clinic students may not enroll concurrently in another clinic or field placement. Prior or concurrent enrollment in an international law course (e.g. International Law, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law) is recommended but not required.