The Clinic offers an innovative approach. 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 the 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 working across disciplines and use the perspectives of different fields to enhance the overall theoretical framework. Routinely the Clinic admits non-Law students.
All the projects and cases entail working in partnership with international institutions national agencies and/or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of those projects will be part of long-term relationships with partner organizations and community activists to advocate for the advancement of the specific rights. As part of this long term involvement, students will be offered the opportunity of continuing with their work their projects, through summer internships with our partner organizations.
The clinic meets two times per week for an hour and a half. Classroom lectures and discussion focus on substantive human rights law, client interviewing, case and project preparation and 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 available for non-Spanish speaking students. Preference is given to students who have taken a human rights course or who have other human rights or public interest experience.