Alumni Short

Potential Student Participants

The Clinic Experience

       The International Human Rights Clinic gives Cornell Law students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working on human rights matters. Student participants will:

  • Learn to describe issues in human rights terms
  • Formulate demands using human rights accountability tools
  • Develop strategies that utilize key features of human rights law
  • Enhance international research, writing, and oral communication skills

       Participation in the Clinic involves a classroom component as well as a practice component. In the classroom component, students obtain a foundation in international human rights law and practice through lectures, discussions, and simulation exercises.

       For the practice component, students are divided into collaborative teams, each of which works on a substantive human rights project. These projects can involve impact litigation, direct legal assistance, or legislative advocacy, and they often require collaboration with international NGOs. Examples of past clinic projects can be found here. Some projects may involve international field research. For instance, Clinic students recently traveled to Colombia in connection with a project involving the right to education. Student teams work closely with the Clinic director throughout the course, receiving close guidance and regular feedback.

Student Selection

       If you would like to apply to the Clinic, please pre-register for the Clinic and also submit your resume, transcript (unofficial is acceptable), a writing sample, and a short essay describing why you are interested in taking the Clinic and highlighting your experience in the area of human rights (if any) as well as any language abilities to Professor Kalantry ( by the deadline given in current course registration materials. Professor Kalantry considers the following factors:

  • Interest and experience in working on human rights issues
  • Prior course work in international law or human rights
  • Legal writing and research experience
  • Ability to work well with others