Carolyn Patty Blum is a Clinical Professor of Law, Emerita, at Berkeley Law. She started teaching Immigration Law at Berkeley in 1980 and, thereafter, created a series of innovative clinical programs in the areas of Immigration and Refugee Law from 1984-1998. She also taught Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, and specialized human rights seminars. Professor Blum was the guiding force behind the creation of Berkeley Law’s International Human Rights Law Clinic, which opened in 1998 as part of the school’s Center for Clinical Education.
After her retirement from Berkeley in 2003, she spent over fourteen years in New York City and worked as a consultant to premiere human rights institutions, such as the Center for Justice and Accountability, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the International Center for Transitional Justice. She litigated a series of major human rights cases stemming from the Salvadoran military’s systemic and widespread human rights violations in the 1980s. This litigation ultimately led to civil judgments against two generals and former Ministers of Defense of El Salvador as well as their removal from the U.S. and the criminal conviction in Spain of a Vice-Minister of Defense for ordering the killing of six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter. Professor Blum continued to teach at Columbia University Law School and Cardozo Law, where she directed the Benjamin B. Ferencz Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic. She recently returned to the Bay Area and is teaching a Human Rights and Social Justice Writing Workshop at the law school.
The recipient of two Ford Foundation research grants, Professor Blum also has been involved in precedent-setting litigation involving Central American and Haitian refugees. She has received three prestigious professional awards: two from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and one from the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Her government service included a stint on the Clinton-Gore Transition Team. Professor Blum has been part of the core faculty of the University of Oxford’s Summer Human Rights Program as well as its Masters in International Human Rights Law for over 25 years. Professor Blum is a widely recognized authority in the fields of refugee and asylum law, transitional justice, international justice, film and human rights, and domestic litigation of human rights.
B.A., University of Arizona (1971)
J.D., Northwestern University (1976)