Melvin Huang, Class of '10
The Human Rights Clinic has probably been my most substantive and influential law school experience. Given my future aspirations to work in the human rights field, I welcomed and appreciated the rigor and depth of the HRC. Without a doubt, the HRC was a demanding course, but it was an authentic and realistic glimpse of what true human rights work is like. Professor Dulitzky’s vision and high standards inspired high-quality research, writing, and professional work habits. I was fortunate enough to have a richly diverse HRC experience that spanned research, interviewing, and long-distance collaborations. The highlight of my law school career was being able to go to Ghana as part of a field research trip for the HRC. There, my clinic partner and I interviewed community members who were affected by mining activities. Seeing the concrete, immediate, and serious needs of the Ghanaians was a visceral reminder of what my law degree is all about: helping those who are voiceless and being exploited. I never thought that I would be able to travel to Africa, and being able to go there with the firm purpose of the HRC made it all the more incredible. Translating those experiences into a human rights report to be widely distributed will hopefully raise awareness of this tragic human rights situation. Upon leaving a certain community, an old woman stopped me, looked me straight in the eye, and said, ‘Please, you must do something.’ I struggled not to give her any false promises or hopes, but assured her I would do all I could. After being in the HRC for an entire year, I feel that this report is an important first step in responding to that elderly woman’s plea. I hope that subsequent students in the HRC, as well as my personal work, can strengthen that response. I am glad I concluded my law school career with the HRC. I would not have done it any other way.