The Human Rights Clinic exposes students to the practice of law in the international and cross-cultural context of human rights litigation and advocacy.
To bridge theory and practice, the Human Rights Clinic provides students with hands-on experience working on active human rights cases and projects. Students apply and test the skills-training and critical examinations imparted through classroom instruction and simulations in the context of real-world advocacy. Working in partnership with experienced attorneys and institutions engaged in human rights activism, both in the United States and abroad, students contribute to effecting positive change locally and globally as they hone their professional skills.
Through an intensive critical seminar, students examine the actors, subjects, and tools of the human rights movement, as well as critiques coming from left and right. Specifically, the seminar considers the evolution of the human rights movement, how to locate litigation in human rights work, the difficulties in applying 'traditional' human rights methodology beyond the civil and political rights context, the developing human rights movement in the United States, and economic issues that arise in human rights norms and analysis.
The critical seminar lays out an analytic framework for much of the course, and it is combined with a skills seminar, which introduces students to specially-tailored exercises to familiarize them with international human rights practice. In addition, guest speakers will cover both substantive themes in human rights and provide guidance in skills-oriented exercises.
In the seminar, students participate in exercises and discussions that develop fundamental lawyering and advocacy skills including:
- Interviewing techniques, fact investigation and development
- Project and case organization and management
- Legal drafting, and oral and written advocacy (including media advocacy)
- Ethics and professional development, and collaborative project work
Duration: One-Semester Clinic
Prerequisites: Commitment to social justice and human rights advocacy. Completion or concurrent enrollment in a basic human rights or international law course is expected.
Time Requirements: This clinic entails a very substantial time commitment in addition to the time spent preparing for and attending class. Clinic class meets for one hour and fifty minutes, twice weekly. Students are expected to spend approximately 15-18 hours per week on clinic project/case work.
Straight From a Student
Hear Miami Law students discuss how this clinic enables them to do broad work advocacy locally, nationally and internationally.