2019 Postgraduate Fellowships

Hilary R. Rosenthal ’19 awarded Leonard H. Sandler Fellowship at Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Hilary R. Rosenthal ’19
Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in environmental studies from Brown University

Experience: MSNBC, legal correspondent intern; Earthjustice, law clerk; U.S. Department of State, intern; Peace Corps, volunteer; WBUR, music director; Columbia Human Rights Law Review, executive articles editor; Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic

Motivation: “As I was growing up, I always found that the outdoors was a safe space for me and helped me pursue my own path to leadership and advocacy, despite being told by others I would not be suitable for those types of pursuits. I worked on conservation projects with people from all walks of life and eventually led backpacking trips in college as part of a leadership program. I took this interest with me to work in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, where I worked with an indigenous community as well as with young people across the country, in environmental conservation and stewardship. The cross-cultural exchange and technical experiences in that endeavor helped me realize I love working with people on a project and that environmental issues are so important because they relate to all of our rights: health, economics, education, and so much more.”

Goals: “I spent my years before law school working with grassroots communities to engender ways to overcome human rights abuses and inequalities, though primarily via a journalistic lens and on-the-ground settings. My impetus to go to law school was to gain a set of tools to understand the language of change to promote equality on a grander scale, particularly in the intersection of environmental law and human rights. At Human Rights Watch, I will be able to put these tools into action.”

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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 the other 2019 public interest postgraduate fellows.

Published on March 18, 2019