International Human Rights Law Clinic

The International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) offers student attorneys the opportunity to represent non-U.S. citizens and organizations working to defend the human rights of non-U.S. citizens in a broad range of settings, including regional and international bodies, U.S. federal and state courts, and immigration court.

The IHRLC provides representation in predominantly three broad areas: (1) Refugee and resettlement applications to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on behalf of vulnerable individuals abroad; (2) asylum cases on behalf of individuals in the U.S. seeking protection based on persecution because of political opinion, gender-based violence, and/or sexual orientation; and (3) children and families seeking refuge in the U.S. from Central America.

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Our Focus

The matters handled by the IHRLC allow students to develop core lawyering skills, such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, and trial advocacy, while cultivating complementary skills in the areas of policy and legislative advocacy, community organizing, and strategic communication.

Meet our Faculty and Staff

Anita Sinha

Assistant Professor of Law

Director, International Human Rights Law Clinic

Anita Sinha is an Assistant Professor of Law and the Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic. After more than 10 years of litigation and advocacy experience on behalf of indigent communities, Professor Sinha joined the WCL faculty in 2012 as a Practitioner-in-Residence in the Immigrant Justice Clinic. She began her career as a Skadden Fellow with the Northwest Immigrant Justice Project, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Professor Sinha led civil rights litigation and human rights advocacy on behalf of displaced New Orleans residents. As a clinical teacher, she has supervised students on U.S. immigration cases, as well as transnational and international projects. Professor Sinha has been cited in several major news outlets, including The New York Times and Associated Press, and is a Huffington Post contributor. Her research and scholarship address human rights issues related to forced migration and detention, and the intersection of immigration and constitutional law.

Sherizaan Minwalla

Practitioner-in-Residence

Sherizaan Minwalla is a Practitioner-in-Residence in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the American University Washington College of Law. Professor Minwalla is an experienced human rights lawyer who advocates for survivors of gender-based violence in the US and overseas in the Middle East. She has spent much of the last decade living in Iraq where she has run human rights, development, and humanitarian programs with Heartland Alliance International (HAI), the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps. For the past two years, Professor Minwalla responded to the needs of women and girls in acute crisis due to armed conflict, including survivors of ISIS captivity, as well as women and girls who were displaced and at greater risk of forced marriage, trafficking and other violence. As the HAI Country Director, she established model legal and social protection programs to represent survivors in in the criminal justice and family court systems. She also oversaw anti-torture and juvenile justice programs.

Check out our exciting Upcoming Clinic Events

September 25 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Free Yoga with the Washington Yoga Center! September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N102 Orange is the New Black: Race, Class, Sexuality, Identity, and the Criminal Justice System in Popular Culture September 26 12:00PM-1:30PM Warren Building - NT03 Human Rights Reading Group September 27 12:00PM-1:00PM NT07 BARBRI Bar Talk September 27 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class September 27 5:30PM-7:30PM Viacom,1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 Fall New York Alumni Reception September 28 5:00PM-7:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term September 28 5:30PM-8:00PM Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center,901 K St NW Alumni and Students Intellectual Property Networking Reception September 29 12:00PM-2:00PM Capital Building - C217 Language Volunteer Training October 02 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 03 9:00AM-2:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Red Cross Blood Drive October 03 12:00PM-1:30PM Washington College of Law Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization October 03 6:00PM-9:00PM Rio de Janeiro, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair Rio de Janeiro October 04 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 04 6:00PM-9:00PM Brasilia, Brazil Education USA LLM Fair - Brasilia October 05 5:30PM-7:30PM 601 Massachusetts Ave, N, Washington, DC Twelfth Annual International Commercial Arbitration Lecture October 06 6:00PM-9:00PM WCL Alumni Reception for Professor Robert Vaughn October 07 10:00AM-1:00PM Sao Paulo, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair - Sao Paulo October 09 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 09 6:00PM-9:00PM Buenos Aires, Argentina EducationUSA LLM Fair - Buenos Aires October 11 11:30AM-1:30PM Washington College of Law International Law Abroad Table Talks October 11 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 11 5:00PM-6:00PM Warren Building - NT02 Information Session: Veteran's Pro Bono Legal Clinic October 11 6:00PM-9:00PM Santiago, Chile EducationUSA LLM Fair - Santiago October 12 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N104 Pro- Bono Information Session: Washington Lawyers' Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic October 12 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - Y401 Transatlantic Consumer Protection: The Case of Medical Devices October 12 5:00PM-7:00PM Washington College of Law Gender and Family Law Resume Review Session October 12 6:00PM-9:00PM Lima, Peru EducationUSA LLM Fair - Lima October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT16 Equal Justice Works Career Fair Prep Session October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 16 6:00PM-9:00PM Education USA LLM Fair - Bogota October 17 8:30AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 XIII Symposium on International Trade October 18 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 20 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 20 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Fall Sports Law Symposium October 21 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 23 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 25 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 26 12:30PM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform 2017 October 26 6:15PM-7:30PM Warren Building - NT01 Sixth Annual Peter A. Jaszi Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property with Professor Rebecca Tushnet October 26 6:15PM-8:15PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 26 6:15PM-8:30PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 27 8:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform October 27 8:45AM-3:30PM Warren Building - NT08 Unlocking the Promise of Antitrust Enforcement October 30 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 31 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - YT01 A Conversation with David Rubenstein November 01 12:00PM-1:30PM Capital Building - Commons Gender and Law Course Advising November 01 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 03 8:00AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law 2017 National SJD Roundtable November 06 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 07 12:00PM-12:50PM Washington College of Law Gender and Law Lunch and Learn: Forced Labor Trafficking Panel November 08 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 10 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Anatomy of Justice: An Honest Conversation on the Criminal Justice System in 2017 November 13 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 15 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - Y116 Semester Abroad and International Dual Degree Information Session November 22 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class
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