Course Information

Course Description: Human Rights Clinics

  • Taught by Ariel Dulitzky
  • 6 credits (pass/fail) — offered Fall, Spring
  • The Clinic is open to students who have completed their first two semesters.

The Clinic deploys an innovative approach. Many of the projects and cases entail working in partnership with international institutions, national agencies and/or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of those projects are part of long-term relationships with partner organizations and community activists to advocate for the advancement of specific rights. As part of this long-term involvement, students may be offered the opportunity to continue their work on projects through summer internships with our partner organizations.

Clinic students in class with Professor Dulitzky (far left) during spring 2014.
Clinic students in class with Professor Dulitzky (far left) during spring 2014.

All the cases and projects involve research, writing, and an opportunity to discuss the strategies used by our organizational and individual partners. The cases and projects provide students an opportunity to gain practical skills in partnering with other students, institutions, and organizations, thus forming a team of advocates. Finally, all the projects and cases allow a multidisciplinary approach and permit using the perspectives of different fields to enhance the overall theoretical framework.

The Clinic meets two times per week for an hour and a half. Classroom lectures and discussions focus on substantive human rights law, interviewing clients, case and project preparation, strategy, and review of ongoing cases and projects. In addition to the classroom component, students should expect to spend 10–20 hours per week on Clinic work. The weekly workload varies substantially, depending upon the stage of each project or case. Clinic work may include some travel.

Many of the Clinic’s projects and cases are from Latin America. Fluency in Spanish is preferred but not required. Volunteer interpreters are often available. Preference is given to students who have taken a human rights course or who have other human rights or public interest experience.

The Human Rights Clinic in spring 2015.
The Human Rights Clinic in spring 2015.