Charles Kohorst

For International Human Rights Clinic Student, Experience Key to Social Justice Plans

Charles Kohorst
Charles Kohorst ‘19

Charles Kohorst ‘19 wants to use the law to make the world a better place. He took full advantage of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ offerings to do just that.

Kohorst participated in Loyola’s International Human Rights Clinic, a hybrid class and clinic that trained him in international law before tasking him with applying it on live cases of human rights abuses around the globe. During the spring 2018 semester, he advocated for undocumented immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas as part of a Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic-led alternative spring break class “Immigration Law & the Border.”

Q: Why did you decide to pursue law school, and how did Loyola's clinical offerings impact that decision?

A: I decided to pursue law school because I felt I had the capacity to make a positive difference in the world and felt I had a social duty to do so.

Q: How did your participation in a Loyola clinic make a difference in your education?

A: My participation in the International Human Rights Clinic helped me obtain litigation, advocacy and policy-making skills that I otherwise would be unable to enjoy in conventional classes. I found it a bit surprising, yet encouraging, that some of the clinic’s advocacy was conducted not abroad, but right here in the United States. The clinic introduced me to a burgeoning movement seeking to address the U.S. death penalty by raising international human rights law mechanisms.

Q: How did it feel to put your classroom knowledge to work for clients?

A: It certainly affirmed my effort as a law student. It is easy to get caught up in class work and forget that it serves a purpose. Clinical work illuminates that reality. Approaching domestic public policy issues from an international legal lens was a unique experience. It ultimately taught me that there is a broader universe that can be utilized to help a client achieve their goals.

Q: Finish this sentence: "If my time in the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic has taught me anything, it is _________"

A: If my time in the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic has taught me anything, it is how to be a legal writer and how to engage with client-centric lawyering in a way that benefits society as a whole.

The International Human Rights Clinic in particular taught me that as the world continues to grow more interconnected, lawyers will need to engage with international law in a variety of ways.

Learn more about how Loyola Law School’s many live-client clinics can make a difference in your education by visiting the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic website.