Top Law Schools for Human Rights Law

Human rights violations are in the headlines daily, and some of them hit close to home. Issues such as LGBT rights, immigration, genocide and social justice affect communities around the globe.

Through Brooklyn Law School’s LGBT Advocacy Clinic, students have assisted gay and transsexual individuals fleeing persecution from their homes in Africa and Central America.

Brooklyn Law School students also aid the local immigrant population through the Know Your Rights Project, which provides community education.

“Our thought is not only to convey legal information about immigrants’ rights and all the different places those rights might come into play but to speak about the sense of vulnerability of immigrants we saw,” said professor Maryellen Fullerton. “My feeling is that if we can address some of those fears quite simply, we can give people the tools so that they have a knowledge and a sense of control.”

In New Orleans, immigration arrests are up by more than 38 percent since the 2016 presidential election. Loyola University New Orleans College of Law has been swamped with requests for students to assist lawyers who serve these populations. Some students participating in the Loyola Law Clinic have worked on as many as 15 different cases. Other law schools are following suit. Both New York Law School and Northeastern University School of Law have announced new clinics to address these issues.

Other law schools are sending their students abroad to fight human rights abuses.

Human rights students at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law are covering the globe. This past year, interns from the law school were present on all six inhabited continents as part of the school’s Program in International Human Rights Law. Since the program was founded 20 years ago, students have traveled to more than 65 nations.

At Seattle University School of Law, students participating in the human rights clinic have provided legal counsel to members of a Mexican community who are defending their ancestral lands from unauthorized commercial projects. The case is set to go all the way up to Mexico’s Supreme Court.

Fordham University School of Law is also sending services to other countries. Students have worked in Africa with the Malawi Mobile Legal Aid Clinic, an organization that provides assistance in cases involving property grabbing, domestic violence and witchcraft accusations.


Read the preLaw Back To School 2017 issue to see which schools made our Top Law Schools for Human Rights Law.