The Human Dignity Clinic (HDC) is designed for students who want to help the most vulnerable amongst us. It is not a traditional “human rights clinic,” in that students do not presuppose that rights-based solutions are the only possible way to help such individuals. Students will certainly use rights-based strategies, but they will also work to identify other strategies towards that same goal.
Students will adopt a client-centric model of lawyering, putting the client squarely in the driver’s seat with regards to case management. Students will learn to communicate openly with their clients, most of whom are not versed in legal concepts and terminology. Students will confront directly the challenges of balancing their own empathy for their clients’ situation with their ongoing duty to provide competent and impartial advice. Students may be called upon to give non-binding legal advice to such clients, or help them decide between different potential strategies for addressing violations of their human dignity.
During their second semester, students will work on systemic advocacy projects. Such project work may involve detailed fact-finding to document the scope and impacts of certain problems, and subsequently bring students together with policymakers, activists, and scholars in the search for potential solutions to the problems they documented.
Students will learn how to advise individuals when they are at their most vulnerable. Students will learn to be empathetic, caring, and competent lawyers. Learn more about student experiences in the HDC in the For Students page.
Clients and partners of the Clinic can expect a high level of sophistication and discretion from students and their faculty supervisors, working tirelessly to empower vulnerable individuals with the skills and knowledge they will need to help themselves regain a sense of normalcy. For more on the types of projects done by this clinic, please consult the Project Work >> page.