The Clinic Experience Unparalleled preparation for advocates



Students in the clinic divide their time between an intensive clinical seminar and clinical advocacy projects. During the seminar, students read and discuss texts that critically evaluate the human rights movement and advocacy efforts.  In addition, participants in the seminar develop a range of skills and strategies to promote respect for rights and dignity.  These include factual documentation, elaboration and distribution of reports describing rights abuse, traditional litigation before national and international institutions, community empowerment strategies, advocacy film-making, and conflict transformation techniques.

Each of us left with renewed resolve to make social justice at home and abroad a core focus of our professional lives.”

Adelina Acuña, SLS ’12

*Clinical students Jane Farrington and Alexandra Miller interview a simulation actor

The best preparation for accurate, ethical and sensitive human rights fieldwork is fieldwork itself. Students in the Stanford International Human Rights Clinic complete a three-day intensive simulation of human-rights fact-finding and advocacy before they begin their work on live projects in the field.

The simulation prepared us to think through the very same challenges and dilemmas we faced in fieldwork.”

Atenas Burrola, SLS ’14

*Clinical Students Lucia Ballard and Christina Yang set up a video interview in Cambodia

The Clinic’s unique full-time model allows students to gain substantive field experience.  Because full-time students have no other classes, they are able to travel to sites of rights abuse and potential conflict.  In the first two years of the Clinic, faculty and students have researched and worked on human rights issues in the United States, Brazil, Panama, Pakistan, Bolivia, Tanzania, and Cambodia, among others.

The opportunity to travel to Panama and speak with prisoners suffering rights abuses really changed our engagement in the project.  It made the difference between reading about human rights and being empowered to promote change.”

Katherine Scherschel, SLS ’14


Students plan and carry out advocacy projects of national and international scope. Clinical students have crafted advocacy messages, drafted op-eds, moot and sometimes give interviews.

Our work in the clinic resulted in real opportunities for hard-hitting advocacy.”

Omar Shakir, SLS ’13