International Human Rights Clinic

Images courtesy of the United Nations

Rooted in the Law School’s values and tradition of social justice, academic freedom, personal integrity and professional ethics, the overarching mission of the International Human Rights Clinic at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (“IHRC” or “clinic”) is to contribute to the attainment of the fullest exercise of human rights by all human beings throughout the world. In carrying out this mission, the IHRC aims to maximize the use of global and regional legal and political institutions through litigation, advocacy and capacity-building.

As an educational institution, the clinic transforms its mission and goals into a unique practical experience for its students, providing opportunities to gain vital knowledge and skills for effective and successful legal advocacy on behalf of victims of human rights abuses. At the same time, through the strategic use of international and regional mechanisms for the protection of human rights, the clinic provides exceptional pro bono legal assistance and empowers victims of human rights violations, and the organizations representing them, to utilize international and regional mechanisms.

While students work on all stages of an individual case or engage in advocacy efforts on particular thematic issues, they learn how to conceptualize and strategize diverse approaches and grapple with practical, ethical, methodological and theoretical challenges involved. Through the clinic, Loyola’s students have the opportunity to expand their perspectives and reach the world from Los Angeles.

The clinic is directed by Professor Cesare Romano and Mary Hansel.  From 2012 to 2016, Veronica Aragón served as deputy director of the Clinic.

The clinic is active year-round, over three terms. Students sign up for two consecutive terms (up to three units (pass/fail) per term, for a total of maximum 6 units). Students working at the Clinic during the summer have the option of being compensated through the work-study program instead of earning units. Clinic units also count toward the completion of the pro bono graduation requirement.

Clinic students meet once a week for two hours. The first hour is devoted to class discussion regarding international human rights topics and attorney skill development. The second hour is reserved for project work, as the project teams meet with supervising faculty to strategize and discuss any questions or issues confronted in their work.

Introduction to International Law is a pre-requisite for the clinic. It can be satisfied either prior to enrolling or concurrently during work at the Clinic.

The International Human Rights Clinic’s work involves litigation of human rights violations before a wide array of international bodies, and advocacy and international policy-making on pressing human rights issues.

Students interested in enrolling may find application requirements and instructions here.


Extrajudicial Executions and Police Brutality 

Arbitrary Arrest, Torture and Forced Disappearances

Rights of Refugees

Right to Information and Due Process Rights

Right to Participate in the Conduct of Public Affairs


Extrajudicial Executions and Police Brutality

Detention of Irregular Migrants

Right to Benefit from Scientific Research

Law and Genocide

Amicus Briefs 

Domestic Advocacy