UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic

UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic, a student litigation and advocacy project at American University's Washington College of Law, develops and advances human rights litigation by training students in a manner that is unlike the typical clinical legal program at most law schools. UNROW's students propose and prepare new cases, determine litigation strategy, draft motions, argue in court, and travel internationally, if necessary, to support their clients and cases.

The UNROW Clinic has exceptional experience with federal court and international litigation that involves multiple plaintiffs and factual complexities. Over the past 12 years, UNROW's pro bono services in human rights litigation have aided many indigent individuals and vulnerable communities by advocating on their behalf in a variety of legal and academic forums. UNROW's many successes include:

  • obtaining a $7.2 million dollar judgment on behalf of Chilean victims of torture who suffered under the Pinochet dictatorship;
  • lifting deportation orders wrongfully placed on six US citizens and preventing their illegal removal by the US government;
  • initiating an advocacy campaign against an alleged war criminal serving on the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces Advisory Council which resulted in the Sri Lankan ambassador being removed from the committee;
  • securing an asylum grant for an unaccompanied minor residing in the United States and who escaped her life in a gang war zone in El Salvador;
  • filing numerous lawsuits in the US federal courts against war criminals, human rights persecutors and abusive government actors under the Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victims Protection Act;
  • drafting a manual for use by state and federal policy makers educating them on the legal, social and academic issues affecting victims and survivors of human trafficking, as well as outlining efforts that can be taken against perpetrators and traffickers;
  • collecting over 30,000 signatures for a petition concerning the wrongful exile of the Chagossians. The petition received an official response from the Obama administration addressing the allegations of government mistreatment of the Islanders; and,
  • presenting annual conferences and educational panels on important and cutting edge human rights issues.

UNROW's students enjoy a unique educational opportunity that prepares them for the "real world" of lawyers and giving them advantages for professional opportunities when they graduate law school. Building off of their experiences in UNROW, former members of the Clinic have found careers in international tribunals, academia, and top tier law firms.

For more information on UNROW, please contact

UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic
unrowclinic@wcl.american.edu
(202) 274-4088