"So much of what we do as lawyers, in the technical sense, is looking at words, at the possibilities of words, at judgments, at law, and wondering what we can do with this. Human rights law is a macro version of that. It's asking, 'What are the opportunities for change? How can I build a world that is more compassionate and more thoughtful about the issues that really matter? How can I can I use my legal training to advance what some people see as a pipe dream, but what we see as reality? 'It is determining how I can take the skills I'm learning and bring them wherever I go... whether to a firm, a public interest organization, into aid, or the United Nations. If you're interested in moving for these ideas, the things that you can do are really limitless."
-- Alexis Ortiz
Students who participate in the Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) directly see the power they have to effect real change in the world. Through their work on a case before a tribunal or federal court, on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or via an array of profoundly impactful opportunities, students gain first-hand experience ensuring justice for individuals denied basic human rights. In addition to receiving this profound international experience, work provides students with a wealth of legal tools and confidence, positioning them exceptionally for careers in international law.
The CIHR supervises the first four-year JD-LLM joint degree program in International Human Rights offered by any law school in the United States. The program includes a comprehensive range of JD classroom courses on the norms and mechanisms of international human rights law, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law.
The LLM Program in International Human Rights is designed for students with American JDs or law degrees from other countries who wish to undertake an in-depth study of the norms and methods of international human rights law, their implementation by international courts and organizations, and in domestic legal systems. The program has welcomed students from over 30 countries, including Chile, India, Guinea-Bissau, Panama, Spain, Eritrea, Mexico, Ghana, the Philippines, Uganda, Ethiopia, Italy, Tanzania, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Iraq, Indonesia, South Korea, China and Pakistan.
The Center also provides valuable clinical experiences for students interested in the protection of human rights on a global scale. Opportunities include researching and addressing emerging human right norms and related issues through International Externships and the International Law Concentration.
Starting Spring Semester 2015, the CIHR will offer a new clinical opportunity for Northwestern Law students providing an intensive 12 credit semester focusing on the human rights issue of access to justice in Malawi or gender based violence in Cambodia. Visiting Professors Adam Stapleton and Kathryn English will supervise students in this work which will include at least four weeks of fieldwork abroad.
Students who are interested in this Intensive Clinic should send Professor Tom Geraghty a copy of their resume and a statement of interest in the opportunity via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Professor Geraghty will arrange interviews for all applicants and select participants prior to the start of Spring registration.