Students in the Civil and Human Rights Law Clinic are introduced to the professional practice of law in the cross-cultural context of international human rights advocacy. They bridge theory and practice by working on live case projects that address a range of contemporary issues in the human rights field. Many clinic students engage in research and advocacy on leading international human rights issues. Other student-attorneys partner with experienced lawyers engaged in human rights-based litigation or advocacy to provide pro bono legal services to victims of such abuses in the United States and abroad. In a few cases, students may represent clients directly in litigation or related advocacy matters.
The Civil and Human Rights Law Clinic students are immersed in the practice of international human rights law and advocacy. They are responsible for carrying out a wide range of professional activities under close faculty supervision. Most student-attorneys engage in research and advocacy projects designed to promote human rights through innovative engagement with cutting-edge issues in international law. One area of primary focus is the intersection of information and communication technology (ICT) and international human rights law. On the one hand, students explore the human rights implications of the operations of Internet companies like Facebook, Google, and Mozilla. On the other, they participate in a new clinical project addressing violence against women online, which involves devising legal and non-legal strategies to counter cyber-stalking and harassment. Another area of intense research revolves around the UN International Law Commission’s drafting of a new crimes against humanity (CAH) convention. Through guided legal research and writing, students actively support the work of Professor Sean Murphy, ILC Rapporteur for CAH, who is spearheading this initiative. Finally, students in the Civil and Human Rights Law Clinic participate in a semester-long client simulation designed to develop client interviewing and counseling skills.
Student Eligibility Requirements
Students will be selected based on a variety of factors, including their potential to provide high quality legal services to our clients and partners. Faculty will consider a student’s interest in, and commitment to, human rights and social justice work, but such experience is not required. Faculty try to select a diverse class that has different backgrounds, experiences and interests, but a common desire to promote human rights and work collaboratively to gain invaluable experience.
Every semester the Clinics hold an Open House where each Clinic’s faculty is available to answer questions about their respective clinic.
- Preference is given to 3L students but 2L students are encouraged to apply, especially for the spring semester.
- Students must take the clinic for 6 credits and be able to devote a minimum of 21 hours per week to clinic work.
- Students must have completed International Law. Recommended courses include International Law of Human Rights, GW-Oxford International Human Rights Law Program, and Regional International Human Rights Systems.
For more information and to apply to the clinic, please login to the Portal. A complete set of application instructions is posted a few weeks prior to the registration period for the following semester.
- "Complicit in Censorship? Amazon and the Suppression of Online Expression in Ecuador"
- FCC Comment on net neutrality and the potential of international human rights and trade obligation violations. Submitted by Professors Arturo J. Carillo and Dawn Nunziato in December 2014.
- Comparative Law Study and Analysis of National Legislation Relating to Crimes Against Humanity and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, Professor Arturo J. Carillo and former clinic staff attorney Annalise K. Nelson.
- The Shadow Report Human Rights Violations of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People in Guatemala. This report was submitted for consideration at the 104th Session of the Human Rights Committee, March 2012, New York, lead-authored by IHRC students.
- The Shadow Report Human Rights Violations of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People in Jamaica. This report was submitted for consideration at the 103rd Session of the Human Rights Committee October 2011, Geneva, lead-authored by IHRC students.
- "Re-Imagining the International Human Rights Law Clinic," Professor Carillo with Nicholas Espejo.
- Chiquita MTD order
- Magnifico complaint and decision re: ATS/RICO
- Jamaicans for Justice Project documents:
- Written report
- Annex I
- Annex II
- Annex III
- Article by IHRC Director Arturo Carrillo published in 2004 by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review: "Bringing International Law Home: The Innovative Role of Human Rights Clinics in the Transnational Legal Process."
- This report was submitted for consideration at the 104th Session of the Human Rights Committee, March 2012, New York, lead-authored by IHRC students.