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Fall 2021 Seminar

Human Rights Careers: Strategic Leadership Workshop

Required Clinic Component: Either the fall International Human Rights Clinic – 3L Leadership Training with Advanced Seminar or the fall Semester in Human Rights Clinic. Students who are accepted into either of these clinics will be enrolled in this required course by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

Additional Pre-Requisites: Prior semester in the International Human Rights Clinic.

By Permission: Yes.

Add/Drop Deadline: June 21, 2021.

LLM Students: Due to the pre-requisite, LLM students are not eligible to apply.

Placement Site: HLS.

This seminar offers advanced training in human rights advocacy and leadership for students interested in careers in human rights or social justice. 

Students will explore a variety of strategic considerations that are critical to protecting and promoting human rights, including how to conceptualize and advance human rights agendas that target entrenched, structural challenges; how to mobilize constituencies and collaborate with affected communities to better address power imbalances and ensure sustainable change; and how to develop communication strategies and narratives for maximum impact.  Strategic decisions are often integrally tied to ethical questions, and thus the seminar also examines professional ethics and responsibilities through scenarios based on human rights practitioners’ own experiences.

Students will also consider and cultivate the leadership skills necessary for a career in human rights, including by examining issues of identity. As part of developing their own leadership style, students will take significant ownership over the learning processes in both the seminar and the Clinic.  Students will work to determine their learning priorities and will develop a tailored individual or team project through which they can examine, in depth, an area of interest—whether a substantive area in the field of human rights or a leadership challenge or approach.  

Finally, students will workshop their own clinical projects, including by reflecting on the overall impact of the project as well as their own specific leadership role, in order to improve their effectiveness human rights advocates and as future leaders.