International Human Rights Clinic
On July 17, 2013, the School of Law's International Human Rights Clinic, along with co-counsel Jerry Cohen of Burns & Levinson, Stewart Eisenberg of Weinberg & Garber, and Gordon Woodard of Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, filed a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of our client, Mohammed Abdullah Taha Mattan, who has been detained in Guantanamo since June 19, 2002. This is the petition in PDF format (exhibits omitted). This is the accompanying press release (PDF) about the petition.
The Clinic seminar will provide an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of human rights advocacy, including international legal research, policy analysis, persuasive legal drafting, effective oral advocacy, collaborative lawyering, media and legislative advocacy, investigation and report drafting, creative problem-solving and the development of cross-cultural lawyering competencies. Students will explore the efficacy of litigation, the contested terrain of cultural relativity in human rights norms, and the social, political and economic context that human rights advocates must navigate. The seminar will include guest speakers and simulated exercises.
To integrate the underlying theoretical backdrop of emerging human rights norms with real life lawyering, students in the International Human Rights Clinic will directly participate in contemporary and compelling cases. Through their work on human rights projects, students will explore the relative merits and efficacy of various advocacy mechanisms in the context of real cases. Students will work collaboratively with domestic and international non-governmental organizations, grass-roots organizations, solidarity networks, attorneys, stakeholders, and other institutions engaging in human rights work, to advance political, economic, social and cultural human rights across borders.
Clinic projects will vary, and particular initiatives may include:
(1) transitional justice in post-conflict societies, with a particular focus on Latin America;
(2) the intersection of human rights and development, through the lens of private investment, multilateral financial institutions and development agencies;
(3) migrants’ rights, including modern day slavery and human trafficking;
(4) labor rights and the targeting of union activists; and
(5) post-disaster human rights in Haiti.
Spots available each semester: 8
Credits: 6 credits
Grading: Letter Grade
Application: Application deadline for particpation in the Fall 2014 International Human Rights Clinic is February 27, 2014.
Application Requirements: Resume, unofficial transcript, and International Human Rights Clinic application.
The clinic is open to students who have successfully completed 32 hours of law studies.
Clinical Professor of Law
Professor Carasik is the Director of both the International Human Rights and the Legal Services Clinic. She has practiced law in the elder unit at Merrimack Valley Legal Services in Lowell, MA and at the Center for Public Representation (CPR) in Northampton, MA and founded a solo practice concentrating in disability rights and mental health law. She has also directed the Public Interest Externship Program and run an anti-discrimination and disability clinic at the law school.
To learn more, contact Marie Fletcher, Clinical Programs Administrator, at Tel.: 413-782-1469 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.