The International Human Rights Clinic works to protect the human rights of clients and communities around the world. Through supervised practice, students learn the responsibilities and skills of human rights lawyering.
Students are at the heart of the International Human Rights Clinic. Under the close supervision of six full-time and additional part-time seasoned practitioners, more than 40 Harvard Law School students are involved in some 20 projects each term. Mirroring the approach of practicing advocates, students work in small project teams, developing lawyering and ethical skills and receiving intensive mentoring and feedback from experienced clinicians. Whether writing a legal submission, briefing policymakers, building a coalition, engaging with media, or negotiating a treaty, the Clinic employs a problem-solving approach, introducing students to challenges they will confront in their human rights careers. In-house trainings and simulations supplement project work to hone specific skills, such as interviewing. Clinical seminars round out the experience by providing a space in which to study and reflect on the problems posed in human rights practice and scholarship.
CLINICAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICE
The International Human Rights Clinic’s practice spans a wide range of issues, including arms and armed conflict; business and human rights; counterterrorism and human rights; sexual and reproductive rights; Alien Tort Statute litigation; criminal justice and human rights; human rights and the environment; protest and assembly rights; transitional justice; U.N. treaty bodies; and many more. Our clinicians have expertise in numerous regions, including the Americas, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa. We have particular experience in certain countries, including Brazil, Burma/Myanmar, South Africa, and the United States. Projects are selected through a consultative process and are typically conducted in partnership with other civil society groups. In carrying out our practice, the Clinic employs a variety of lawyering methods that are tailored to the needs of each project. These include:
How to Register
The International Human Rights Clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semester. You can learn about the required clinical course component, additional requirements and requisites, as well as the clinical registration process itself, by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
In the News
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Beyond the Nobel Peace PrizeContinue Reading about Beyond the Nobel Peace Prize
When a Norwegian committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for its work behind a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, 3,500 miles away six people at Harvard cheered loudly. They had reason to celebrate.
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My time at the International Human Rights ClinicContinue Reading about My time at the International Human Rights Clinic
I believe in law as an instrument for social change, and I came to Harvard interested in focusing on that. A year is not much time, and as any LL.M. student can confirm, we all suffer from “fear of missing out”. I’m happy to say the International Human Rights Clinic, was perfect to curb this fear.
Faculty and Staff
Tyler Giannini (Clinical Professor of Law, Clinic Co-Director, and
Co-Director of the Human Rights Program)
Susan Farbstein (Clinical Professor of Law and Clinic Co-Director)
Bonnie Docherty (Associate Director,
Senior Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Anna Crowe (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Paul Hoffman (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Yee Htun (Clinical Instructor)
Salma Waheedi (Clinical Instructor)
Cara Solomon (Communications Manager)
Katherine Young (Program Manager)
Deborah Frempong (Program Assistant)