Our alumni not only learn from experts in human rights and humanitarian law, but they also build a network with other professionals in the field.
Luz Angela Melo, WCL 1997
My experience with the LL.M. allowed me not only to change my professional orientation but, most importantly, gave a deep meaning to my life. I was coming from working with the private sector in Colombia and had the aspiration of becoming a human rights lawyer. I attended fantastic courses on international law and human rights, and to be able to pay my tuition, I had the precious opportunity to work a few hours a week for Professor Robert Goldman and with the Academy for Human Rights. Claudia Martin and Diego Rodríguez were wonderful supervisors, full of knowledge and passion. And Professor Goldman, an extraordinary human being with whom I learned the basics of human rights and inspired me to become whom I am now. Since I graduated I have worked with an NGO, peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Bosnia, was human rights advisor of the United Nations Population Fund at global level, and have been working with UNICEF in Haiti, Panama, Honduras and Uruguay. The LL.M. opened the door for getting exciting jobs and, most importantly, realizing my passion: working for the most vulnerable people and children in many parts of the world.
“The LL.M. opened the door for getting exciting jobs and, most importantly, realizing my passion: working for the most vulnerable people and children in many parts of the world”
Luz Angela Melo
Ariela Peralta, WCL 2005
My time as a LL.M. student at AUWCL changed my life. The experience gifted me notable colleagues and friends worldwide that I am fortunately still connected. My journey at AUWCL taught me how to connect human rights matters from one context to another and opened my mind to how extensive, diverse and connected human rights´ issues are. I loved the exceptional professors and fellow students throughout my time at the school. Truly, AUWCL gave me the key to open the door to an endless life as a human rights lawyer.
“Truly, AUWCL gave me the key to open the door to an endless life as a human rights lawyer”
Carlos Weis, WCL 2018
Attending the LL.M on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provided me a sheer upgrade in my academic knowledge and professional capabilities, which proved of great value in my work as a public defender in my country.
In fact, I was well aware of the AUWCL excellency in the field of human rights since my first contact with the Academy back in the 1980’s, which encouraged me to join the LL.M course. Which I did not know was that the live online classes would provide me the opportunity to meeting people from around the world with different perspectives on the class subject, adding practical experiences to the academic lectures. The residential summer course, for its turn, had the unique feature of putting together human rights professors from many different universities, experts from international organizations, activists, lawyers etc., that otherwise would be scattered around the globe, in a sort of human rights and humanitarian law symposium from which I profited the most.
“Attending the LL.M on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provided me a sheer upgrade in my academic knowledge and professional capabilities, which proved of great value in my work as a public defender in my country”
Yuri Alexander Romaña Rivas, WCL 2012
I pursued my LL.M. in International Law and Legal Studies at AUWCL thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. As an Afro-Colombian from the province of Chocó, a marginalized region in Colombia, this was a unique opportunity for me to have access to a great academic institution such as American University. At AU, I had great Professors who did not just teach me but who guided me through my academic training. I also met and learned from my classmates who came from different legal systems and had different cultural backgrounds, and I continue being in touch with many of them. The classes at AU were a space for intellectual and cultural exchanges on complex legal topics. Studying in Washington D.C. allowed me to have access to many relevant stakeholders on human rights issues, and constant events held at WLC on current legal topics were of great relevance to continue learning outside of the classroom and for networking. The knowledge I acquired at my LL.M. Program has been crucial to perform well on my jobs as a human rights lawyer.
Right after graduating, WCL provided me with the opportunity to work as a research assistant, and it paved the way for me work as a human rights specialist at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Washington D.C. Now I work with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (“JEP” for its Spanish acronym), a transitional justice tribunal tasked with the responsibility of investigating and trying the most serious human rights and IHL violations committed during the Colombian Armed-Conflict. At the Special Jurisdiction, I work as a lawyer for the Chamber on Amnesty and Pardon. In conclusion, my academic and life experience at WCL provided me with the necessary skills to achieve my professional goals as a human rights lawyer.
At AU, I had great Professors who did not just teach me but who guided me through my academic training
Yuri Alexander Romaña Rivas
Erin Davis, WCL 2019
Throughout my legal career I have always wanted to make an impact and to assist as many persons as possible, mainly through a legal career in human rights and humanitarian law. I knew that attending American University Washington College of Law would be an invaluable experience and its prestigious LL.M. program in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law has provided me with the knowledge and tools necessary to help achieve human rights initiatives and has assisted in furthering my endeavor to pursue avenues of protection for the underserved. Being taught by professors with such impressive and prominent backgrounds and first-hand experience within the field, was truly an invaluable experience. I have not only been able to learn from them, but now have professional connections within the field. Completing the LL.M program at American University Washington College of Law was one of the best decisions I have made in my legal career.
“Being taught by professors with such impressive and prominent backgrounds and first-hand experience within the field, was truly an invaluable experience”
Franco Albarracin, WCL 2017
Working in the Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders of the IACHR, as a Scholar, has allowed me to obtain a set of experiences that increase my knowledge and commitment in the field of human rights. As part of the follow-up and monitoring of cases, he was able to broaden my vision of the current situation of defenders in the region. Undoubtedly, the LLM in human rights and humanitarian law has constituted a fundamental element for my training process, since I have not only allowed a broad and advanced knowledge in international human rights law, but also the opportunity to Know and be in touch with the most important and influential actors in the field. Therefore, the training obtained at American University and the experience in the Inter-American Commission have constituted essential aspects for my training and the future transmission of my knowledge and expertise in my country.
“The training obtained at American University and the experience in the Inter-American Commission have constituted essential aspects for my training and the future transmission of my knowledge and expertise in my country”