How to Write for the Brief

How to Write for the Brief

To submit an article to the Human Rights Brief, please review an overview of the criteria below.

Length. Please limit articles to approximately 3,000- 4,000 words.

Maintain a legal focus. Your thesis statement should focus on a legal or law-related development. Any policy analysis or reports on human rights situations should be described in relation to this legal focus.

Follow Human Rights Brief format. Most of the Brief’s articles include an introduction, background information, legal analysis, and a conclusion. The introduction draws the reader’s attention, sets out your thesis, and provides a roadmap for your article. Concise background information provides the reader with a historical context, including relevant country condition information, a history of pertinent legal developments, and other information that aids in analyzing the issues explored in your article. This section is especially helpful to readers not familiar with your topic. Legal analysis includes the legal and policy implications of the article’s subject matter. The conclusion generally includes recommendations or predictions. We recommend that you break up the different sections of the article using subheadings, which follow the logical structure of your arguments.

Write to the Human Rights Brief’s audience and use accessible language. The Brief’s readership ranges from attorneys general to grassroots human rights organizations internationally. The Brief, therefore,  is an important resource for both legal and non-legal practitioners in the human rights field. While the Brief’s audience is familiar with basic human rights issues, it should not be assumed that they have legal expertise. Therefore, please write with a broad audience in mind, avoiding the use of technical language and making the structure of your argument clear.

Please include endnotes instead of footnotes. Each author should provide complete citations to support every fact, opinion, statement, and quote that is not an original idea. Endnotes provides sufficient background for the reader and validation for the Brief’s Article Editors. The Brief uses Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation, 20th Edition for citation formatting.

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The Human Rights Brief accepts applications from 1L, 2L, 3L, and LLM students at the beginning of every fall semester. Application packets will be posted on this website closer to the application deadline.

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Each Spring, the Human Rights Brief hosts a spring symposium open to the Washington D.C. human rights community.  These day-long conferences feature renowned experts on a variety of human rights topics, such as disability rights, immigration, gender, and conditions of confinement, among others.  Previous symposia have seen more than a 100 attendees representing dozens of NGOs and government agencies from across the country. 

This past year the Brief presented, “Deprived of Human Rights: Conditions of Confinement of Marginalized Adults and Children” on February 21st.     

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