Human Rights on Campus
Georgetown Law offers many ways for students to learn about and get involved with human rights issues on campus.
In addition to the programs highlighted in Our Work, HRI facilitates a number of ways to become involved with the human rights community on campus. This includes our Human Rights Associates Program, the Bettina Pruckmayr Award, The Dale and James J. Pinto (L’76) Fellowship (for more information click on the tabs to the right). One such opportunity is the Guantanamo Observers Program, a joint project with the Center on National Security and the Law, which allows Georgetown students, faculty, and staff to observe military commissions proceedings at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay.
Human Rights Curriculum
Georgetown Law is among the best places in the world to study human rights law and to develop as a human rights practitioner. HRI helps ensure Georgetown’s place as a center of teaching and training.
Georgetown Law students may choose from among dozens of exciting human rights course offerings. These include traditional lecture-style classes, smaller seminars, practicums (including the Institute’s own Fact-Finding practicum), and clinics.
Georgetown Law is at the cutting edge of experiential legal education. Each year, many J.D. and LL.M. students gain human rights experience through the Law Center’s Practicums and many J.D. students gain experience through the Law Center’s Clinics.
Human Rights Certificates: J.D. and LL.M. students interested in refugee rights may wish to pursue a certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. LL.M. students interested in human rights may wish to pursue a certificate in International Human Rights Law.
Other Centers and Institutes
Many Georgetown Law students explore human rights through work with the Institute for the Study of International Migration, the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law, the Center on National Security and the Law, the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, the Supreme Court Institute, and the Center on Poverty and Inequality, among others.
J.D. students interested in human rights practice develop expertise in skills across the Law Center’s clinical program.
- The Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) gives students the chance to learn about international human rights law protecting refugees. Students in CALS assume primary responsibility for the representation of refugees seeking political asylum in the U.S. because of threatened persecution in their home countries.
- The International Women’s Human Rights Clinic gives students the opportunity to work with partners abroad on human rights reports, fact-finding, proposed legislation, and test-case litigation to help women gain their fundamental rights to freedom from violence and equal treatment. They tackle subjects as varied as female genital mutilation, human trafficking, child marriage, domestic work, reproductive rights, and discriminatory laws that deny women the right to own and inherit property.
- The policy clinic at the Harrison Institute for Public Law involves students in each of their four policy teams : adapting to climate change, achieving health justice and healthy foods, implementing human rights for workers, and balancing democracy and trade. During the 2018-2019 academic year, students focused on workers rights in the FIFA World Cup 2026.
- The Civil Rights Clinic operates as a public interest law firm, representing individual clients and other public interest organizations, primarily in the areas of discrimination and constitutional rights, workplace fairness, open government, and voting rights.
- The Federal Legislation Clinic focuses on policy problems at the intersection of civil rights and technology, and advises national privacy, civil rights and immigrant rights organizations. This has included organizations such as the Women’s Refugee Commission.