Melvin Huang, Class of '10

Former Student/Alumni

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.