Miami Law provides our students with broad academic and experiential learning opportunities in the field of human rights. Our course offerings and our experiential learning programs – including clinics, externships, fellowships and summer programs – provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills working on human rights issues, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Academic & Experiential Learning Opportunities
Courses & Seminars
International Moot Court Program
Human Rights Lecture Series and Conferences
Miami Law Clinics: Our 10 clinics give students practical, hands-on lawyering experience, while also helping needy and under-represented individuals and groups in Miami and across the nation and the globe. Learn more.
Human Rights Clinic: The Human Rights Clinic exposes students to the practice of law in the international and cross-cultural context of human rights litigation and advocacy through a seminar and hands-on experience working on active human rights cases and projects. Projects include:
H.O.P.E.: Helping Others through Pro bono Efforts (HOPE) is our public interest resource center and the home to many opportunities to do human rights work nationally and internationallyl. HOPE also regularly hosts information sessions on landing a job, fellowship or internship in the public interest and in human rights. Opportunities include:
Career Development Office: The Career Development Office (CDO) is committed to assisting students and graduates of Miami Law with employment placement. The CDO supports human rights law placements, advises students looking for human rights-related work, and provides information on Post-Graduate Followships.
Miami Law Summer Abroad Program: This program offers opportunities to study international human rights law in London.
H.O.P.E. Summer Program in Tanzania: This program provides an opportunity for students to study international human rights and comparative law with a focus on Africa and the role of probate and property laws in Tanzanian society and the impact HIV/AIDS and other illnesses have on these issues. In previous years, a similar program was run in Namibia, where students studied the right to a fair trial and observed court proceedings in the Namibian Supreme Court and the Southern African Development Community Court.
Every semester the law school offers a range of human rights-related courses and seminars taught by our world-renowned faculty and visiting faculty from across the globe. Recent courses and seminars have included:
In the International Moot Court Program, students represent the University of Miami School of Law in legal competitions around the world while obtaining course credit. Many of the competitions are focused on human rights or include human rights issues.
Renowned human rights scholars, lawyers and advocates from around the world regularly visit Miami Law, giving public lectures, attending conferences and meeting with students and faculty. Our own faculty and students also contribute to these series and conferences on human rights issues. Over the past two years, our Human Rights Clinic and our Immigration Law Clinic have hosted major groundbreaking conferences on timely human rights issues.
The Louis Henkin Lecture Series on Human Rights: Louis Henkin, the prominent law professor at Columbia University School of Law, was one of the founders of the academic study of human rights. He helped educate a whole generation of human rights lawyers, scholars, and activists, including some of Miami Law's professors, who were greatly influenced by his teaching and writing.
The International Law Lecture Series is run by the International Graduate Law Programs which regularly teams up with the Human Rights Clinic (HRC) to host lectures on human rights and international law. Watch videos of past lectures which have included:
Immigration Speaker Series: These presentations in the Spring 2012 included, amongst others, Roxana Bacon former chief counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and Esther Olavarria, Department of Homeland Security, on immigration reform; and Lee Gelernt and Judy Rabinovitz of the American Civil Liberties Union, on immigrants' rights and the federal courts.
Student organization sponsored lectures are offered throughout the year by our dynamic and ever-growing student-run organizations.
Recent human rights lectures have included:
Miami Law hosted two major human rights-related conferences over the past two years. Immigration Law and Community - The Immigration Clinic held this symposium in October 2010 on the themes of undocumented immigration and community, immigrant women, and Haiti and our Haitian community.
Gender Justice in the Americas: A Transnational Dialogue on Sexuality, Violence, Reproduction & Human Rights: Our Human Rights Clinic, along with the Human Rights Center of the University of Diego Portales (Chile), the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Human Rights Institute of Columbia Law School, hosted this conference on February 23-25, 2011. Professor Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Director of Miami Law's Human Rights Clinic, organized this unique convening which brought together the hemisphere's leading scholars and advocates from over 20 countries.
Miami Law is home to many world-renowned faculty who teach human rights courses, include human rights issues in their curriculum and/or are conducting human-rights related research.
Faculty in the area of Human Rights:
Visiting Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, and Staff working in the area of Human Rights:
A complete faculty list and detailed bios can be found in our faculty directory.
Law journals: Our students run seven law journals, many addressing human rights issues. Our law journals include:
Many of these journals take interest in the area of human rights. For example, the Miami Law Review in the Spring 2011 ran a special symposium issue on the law school's groundbreaking global conference on Gender Justice and Human Rights in the Americas, publishing articles and essays from world-renowned advocates and academics in the field of women's rights. Miami Law Review's 2012 annual symposium was on the death penalty and life without parole.
The Inter-American Law Review hosted symposia on the Inter-American human rights system and on the situation of human rights in Haiti. Its 2012 symposium titled, The Haitian State: Creating Sustainability Growing Forward, addressed the political and legal situation in Haiti pre and post earthquake. Its previous symposium, The Human Element: the Impact of Regional Trade Agreements on Human Rights and the Rule of Law, focused on human rights and featured distinguished guests from around the world.
Student Organizations: Miami Law has over 50 dynamic and diverse student organizations. Many include domestic and international human rights concerns in their work. Organizations such as the Student Organization for Human Rights, American Constitution Society, Law Students for Reproductive Justice and International Law Society place a heavy emphasis on human rights issues.
Human Rights Open House Reception: In November 2011, our Human Rights Clinic hosted its inaugural Human Rights Open House Reception, a faculty-student mixer celebrating the impressive strides Miami Law has taken to develop a wide-ranging human rights program. It highlighted the many varied human rights opportunities and course offerings available at Miami Law. Both students and faculty alike were invited to speak at the event. Read more
Professor Christina Zampas; Professor Caroline Bettinger-Lopez; Marleine Bastien, Director of FANM/Haitian Women of Miami; and Human Rights Clinic Students in front of the OAS building, Washington, DC (March 2012).
Professor Christina Zampas, Professor Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Domestic Violence Activist Jessica Lenahan (formerly Gonzales), Documentary Filmmakers Katia Maguire and April Hayes, and Human Rights Clinic Students at "Zooming in on Domestic Violence," an event sponsored by the Human Rights Clinic and HOPE (Feb. 2012).
Professor Kunal Parker, Professor Irwin Stotzky and Meteorologist Tomas Castellanos at "Green Card Stories," speaking at an event sponsored by the Immigration Clinic (Feb. 2012).
Esther Olavarria, Counselor of the Department of Homeland Security; and Roxana Bacon, Former Counsel to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, speaking on Immigration Reform, an event sponsored by the UM Immigration Clinic (Jan. 2012).
Professor Monisha Bajaj from Columbia University, speaking on Human Rights Education in India, an event sponsored by International Graduate Law Programs and Human Rights Clinic (April 2012).
Human Rights Clinic student Drew Aiken interviewing deportees during a fact-finding trip to Haiti (Feb. 2012).
International Graduate Law Programs: Miami Law's LLM program draws students from around the globe and offers human rights-related international law specializations.
Center for Ethics and Public Service (CEPS): CEPS offers a variety of programs, including the Historic Black Church Program serving Miami's West Grove residents and PREP, a program providing legal ethics education to the South Florida Community.
LawWithoutWalls (LWOW): LWOW is a collaborative academic model, bringing together students, faculty, practitioners, and entrepreneurs from around the country and the world to explore innovation in legal education and practice. LWOW is motivated by a desire to help those engaged in the education and practice of law to realize the impact our changing world is having upon our shared legal enterprise and to embrace that change to create a resonant, efficient, and sustainable future.
Miami STREET LAW: STREET LAW is an educational, legal outreach program that trains current law students to teach law, public policy and ethics at schools throughout Miami-Dade County.
Professor James Nickel writes and teaches human rights law and theory to Miami Law students.
The book, Making Sense of Human Rights by James W. Nickel, explains and defends the contemporary conception of human rights. Combining philosophical, legal and political approaches, Nickel explains international human rights law and addresses questions of justification and feasibility.
Students from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Medellin, Colombia) visited Miami Law in January 2012 for a colloquium on human rights. Here, UPB and Miami Law Human Rights Clinic students prepare oral arguments on case currently being litigated at the UPB clinic.
Professor Stephen Schnably exchanging ideas with visiting students from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia.
Dean Juan Guillermo Jaramillo, from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, talking to Miami Law and UPB students about the new adversarial criminal law system implemented in Colombia.