2019 International Postgraduate Fellowships

Sophia Wistehube ’19 Awarded Global Public Service Fellowship at European Court of Human Rights (France)

Sophia Wistehube ’19
Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees: B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford and M.A. in political theory from Goethe University

Experience: City Administration of Bad Berleburg, refugee officer; The Advice on Individual Rights in Europe Centre, legal intern; Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic, student advocate; European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, legal trainee; chambers of Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, judicial intern; Center for Constitutional Rights, legal intern; Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, articles editor; Open Society Justice Initiative, research assistant to Amrit Singh; Rightslink, events chair

Motivation: “During my time at law school I specialized in human rights law and international criminal law. I worked on issues regarding the armed conflict in Yemen, U.S. counterterrorism measures, and arms trade. Having explored various forms of legal practice, I found myself drawn to litigation. I derive immense purpose from working closely with clients and the facts of their case, and I feel honored to stand with them in solidarity at such a pivotal moment in their life. But I also view litigation as a tool to address larger social and political problems. Ultimately, I hope to be able to contribute to the broader struggle for justice.”

Goals: “I aspire to employ my legal skills to defend human rights, hold perpetrators accountable, and reshape legal norms in the spirit of justice. I am particularly interested in doing so through strategic litigation in domestic and international courts and tribunals. I believe that working at a court that adjudicates such an extraordinary range of human rights issues as the European Court of Human Rights does will help me to develop my understanding of human rights and become a more sophisticated and visionary advocate for justice.”

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The office of Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) guides Columbia Law School students who want to pursue public interest work throughout their academic careers and after graduation. SJI also assists in the process of applying to prestigious postgraduate fellowships. Read about other 2019 international public interest postgraduate fellows.

Published on April 26, 2019