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Human Rights Law Concentration

The University of Minnesota Law School’s concentration in human rights takes advantage of the co-located Human Rights Center to help prepare students to work worldwide in this field. The internationally renowned center works locally, nationally and internationally to provide training, educational materials and assistance for the promotion and protection of human rights.

J.D. and LL.M. law students concentrating in human rights immerse themselves in international human rights, choosing from a wide variety of courses, including American Indian law, civil rights, immigration, and the death penalty.

Further questions should be referred to the faculty chair for the concentration in human rights:

David Weissbrodt


Program Highlights

  • Opportunities to study and work with the internationally renowned Human Rights Center.
  • Connections with the international human rights community, including many organizations located in Minnesota.
  • Options to travel worldwide to work on fellowship projects through the Human Rights Center or to study abroad through international exchange programs with six universities.
  • The Human Rights Library, which offers one of the most extensive collections of human rights documents and research tools.
  • International law and civil rights moot court opportunities.
  • Activities with the University of Minnesota Law School's Center for New Americans, Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences; the Institute on Crime & Public Policy; the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity; and the Minnesota Justice Foundation.
  • Cooperative programs with the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Human Rights Program at the Institute for Global Studies.

Study Opportunities

Concentration courses, taught by some of the leading human rights experts in the country, include required courses in international human rights law, human rights advocacy, and international relations. Students also choose from a wide variety of specialized courses, ranging from American Indian law to critical feminist theory to immigration.

The Human Rights Center, co-located in the Law School, offers access to study and work locally, nationally and internationally in the field of human rights. The Center also serves as a national clearinghouse for human rights education materials and training.


Practical Opportunities

Travel and Study Abroad Opportunities

Through the Human Rights Center, students have the option to travel worldwide to work on fellowship projects or to study through international exchange programs with six universities.

The Human Rights Fellowship Program

This fellowship program provides law students with opportunities to gain practical human rights experience. A fellowship placement offers both training for the individual and assistance to the host organization. The Human Rights Center awards an average of 25 fellowship grants each year to cover travel and living expenses.

Connections to the Minnesota Human Rights Organizations

Law students concentrating in human rights have opportunities to work with many human rights organizations located in Minnesota, including Advocates for Human Rights, Advocating Change Together, American Refugee Committee, Center for Victims of Torture, Children’s Law Center, International Treaty Council, and many more.

Student-Led Opportunities

Amnesty International, Asylum Law Project, and Latino Law Students Alliance are just three of the student organizations at the Law School.