The Duke Legal Clinics allow students to build an experiential bridge between law school and practice.  The International Human Rights Clinic and Advanced International Human Rights Clinic enable students to critically engage with cutting-edge human rights issues, strategies, tactics, institutions, and law in both domestic and international settings. Through weekly seminars, fieldwork and travel, students develop a range of practical tools and skills needed for human rights advocacy—such as fact-finding, litigation, indicators, reporting, and messaging—that integrate interdisciplinary methods and new technologies. Students also develop competencies related to managing trauma in human rights work, as well as the ethical and accountability challenges of human rights lawyering.

Clinic Projects

Types of clinic projects include those that: apply a human rights framework to domestic issues; involve human rights advocacy abroad; engage with international institutions to advance human rights; and/or address human rights in U.S. foreign policy. Students work closely with local organizations, international NGOs, and U.N. human rights experts and bodies to to address a range of human rights issues, including from trafficking in persons to gun violence to the impact of counter-terrorism financing rules on human rights. This has involved, for example:

  • undertaking research and drafting of high-level U.N. reports and guidelines and preparing sensitive U.N. fact-finding missions in numerous countries, including in Latin America and Asia;
  • conducting fact-finding and documentation efforts on human rights and counter-terrorism that involves interviewing governmental, non-governmental, and intergovernmental organizations in London, New York, and Washington D.C. and collaborating with women’s rights organizations in contexts such as Iraq;
  • providing strategic and legal guidance to non-governmental organizations in the United States on how to apply a humans rights lens to U.S. issues;
  • convening and capacity-building of domestic, regional, and international actors on human trafficking issues, including in Amman, Jordan; and
  • analyzing survey data of interviews conducted with women’s organizations, particularly in the Middle East and North African and Asian regions.

Clinic Enrollment

For information on enrollment in the International Human Rights Clinic and Advanced International Human Rights Clinic, see the course description.

In addition to the International Human Rights Clinic and Advanced International Human Rights Clinic, other Duke Legal Clinics provide students challenging opportunities to deepen their substantive legal knowledge, strengthen their lawyering skills, and build their professional identities in areas that impact human rights.

Learn more about The Duke Legal Clinics



Cover of the Duke Legal Clinics newsletterThe Duke Legal Clinics Newsletter

Over the course of the past academic year, the student-attorneys of the Duke Legal Clinics provided more than 21,500 hours of legal services to our clients and partners.

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Image of international flagsInternational Human Rights Clinic makes joint submission to Pompeo’s “rights commission”

The submission identifies ten core concerning propositions relied upon by the Commission on Unalienable Rights and eight principles of international human rights law that should instead guide its work.

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Image of U.S. currency behind chains and lockTightening the Purse Strings: What Countering Terrorism Financing Costs Gender Equality and Security

The report by the International Human Rights Clinic and Women Peacemakers Program analyzes how countering terrorism financing rules impact women’s rights organizing, women’s rights organizations, and gender equality.

Read the report