Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute
1L Advocates Program
The Human Rights Institute 1L Advocates Program is a specially curated program of activities, training, and mentorship for first year law students interested in pursuing a career in human rights. The program is run by the Human Rights Institute (HRI)—the anchor for the human rights community at Columbia Law School, advancing human rights through education, research, and advocacy—in partnership with Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) and the student-led group Rightslink.
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 HRI staff and other leading experts in the human rights field. There are approximately six 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 Columbia Law School 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 HRI 1L Advocates Program is for students who seek a career in human rights. Columbia Law students participating in SJI’s Public Interest/Public Service Fellows (PI/PS) Program as well should expect to get additional structure, support, and skills necessary for a career in human rights, right in their 1L year.
How to apply
The application will be open to incoming 1L students in mid-May, 2020 and is due by July 3, 2020 for consideration for Fall 2020. Applicants will be notified by mid-August of whether they have been accepted into the program. For more information and to apply, click here.
If you have any questions about the 1L Advocates Program, please write to us at [email protected].
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- Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, Rightslink, and Social Justice Initiatives Launch Unparalleled New Human Rights Initiative for First Year Students.