Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute
1L Advocates Program
The Human Rights Institute (HRI) is the anchor for the human rights community at Columbia Law, advancing international human rights through education, advocacy, fact-finding, research, scholarship, and critical reflection. It curates a human rights program for first year law students interested in pursuing a career in human rights law: The Human Rights Institute 1L Advocates Program. The program works, in partnership with the Social Justice Institute (SJI) and Rightslink, to create a space for students who would like a career in human rights. This program is a cornerstone of the SJI Public Interest/Public Service Fellows program, which will be rolled out in 2019. The 1L Advocates Program will provide the structure, support, and skills necessary to work toward preparing students for a career in human rights during their 1L year.
The program involves:
Human rights mentoring and community: Participants in the 1L Advocates Program receive mentorship and guidance from Columbia Law School graduates and 2L and 3L students throughout the year. They join a community of advocates in the field, including previous Program alumni.
Specialized human rights seminars: 1L Advocates attend introductory seminars on the field of human rights, given by experts in the field including HRI staff. There are approximately eight seminars throughout the year, ranging from introductory overviews to critiques of the human rights field today.
Social justice work and experience: 1L Advocates have the opportunity to work on a variety of social justice initiatives including projects hosted by HRI and the Human Rights Clinic. All Advocates are required to undertake such public interest work during the year.
Visits to human rights organizations in New York: 1L Advocates have the opportunity to visit NGOs in New York city, meet with staff, and learn about human rights career opportunities.
The program begins in the fall with an orientation event for the accepted 1L Advocates, continues throughout the academic year with seminars on human rights and opportunities to engage with human rights research and in the broader human rights community, and concludes in the spring with a celebratory dinner in April. The 1L curriculum is a demanding experience, and the 1L Advocates program was designed with this reality in mind.
The 2018-2019 application for the program is now open. If you would like to apply to participate in this program, please send: (a) your CV; and (b) a completed application to [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. on June 27th, 2018.
You can download the application form here. Applicants will be notified by mid-August of whether they have been accepted into the program.
If you have questions about the program, please email Brittany Davis, at [email protected].
If you have any questions about the SJI Fellows Program more broadly please email Dean Erica Smock [email protected].