Columbia Law School - Human Rights Clinic/Human Rights Institute - Professor or Assoc. Professor & Faculty Co-Director

30 Dec 2012 5:27 PM | Donna Lee (Administrator)

COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL invites applications for a position at the Professor or Associate Professor Level. The individual will also serve as Director of the Human Rights Clinic and Faculty Co-Director of the Human Rights Institute, beginning on July 1, 2013.

This position provides a unique opportunity to be a central part of Columbia Law School’s longstanding institutional commitment to human rights education, both in the academy and beyond. The position combines directing the Human Rights Clinic with serving as Faculty Co-Director of the Human Rights Institute, the umbrella organization for human rights practice at Columbia Law School (of which the clinic is an integral part).

One of the first such clinics in the United States, Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic has functioned as a year-long program that exposes students to many alternate approaches to the practice of law in the international and cross-cultural context of human rights advocacy. The first semester has been comprised of an intensive critical seminar which introduces students to the actors, subjects, and tools of human rights law and practice. Students have participated in exercises and discussions to foster the development of fundamental lawyering and advocacy skills, including interviewing techniques, fact investigation and development, project and case organization and management, legal drafting, oral and written advocacy (including media advocacy), and collaborative project work. The Human Rights Clinic has provided students with hands-on experience working on active human rights cases and projects, both in the United States and abroad. Experiential learning through domestic and international investigations and field work have been an important part of the student clinical experience. See

Founded in 1998 by Louis Henkin to build a bridge between human rights scholarship and practice, the Human Rights Institute draws on the law school’s deep human rights tradition to support and influence human rights practice in the United States and around the world. The Institute has two Faculty Co-Directors. In addition, the Institute has an Executive Director, Administrator, three post-graduate Human Rights Fellows, and an overall budget of over $1 million annually, which are supported through the Institute's successful fundraising efforts. See In recent years, projects supported by the Human Rights Institute and Clinic have focused on research and advocacy related to (1) human rights implementation in the United States, including U.S. government human rights compliance and the development of state and local human rights compliance mechanisms, (2) human rights and counterterrorism practices, including studies and advocacy relating to the use of diplomatic assurances, profiling of Muslim populations, and drone technology, (3) human rights and the global economy, particularly involving anti-corruption and transparency in natural resource investment in Africa and Asia, and (4) collaborations with NGOs engaged in diverse forms of engagement with the human rights framework and human rights mechanisms, including advocacy before the Inter-American Court and Commission of Human Rights.

The incumbent will be responsible for teaching the Human Rights Clinic as well as serving as its Director. This will include developing clinical projects for experiential learning both in and outside of the classroom. As Faculty Co-Director of the Human Rights Institute, the individual will also be responsible for collaborating in developing the Institute’s programmatic work and strategic agenda, helping to supervise the Institute’s post-graduate human rights fellows on projects relating to the Institute and Clinic, and assisting with fundraising for projects being pursued by the Institute and Clinic.

Like all of the clinical faculty positions at Columbia Law School, this is a non-tenure track position that is expected to lead to long term, renewable contracts.

Qualifications: A JD degree, license to practice law in the United States, and at least seven to ten years of experience in human rights law and advocacy work, including experience with national, regional, and international human rights oversight mechanisms, litigation, and other forms of human rights advocacy, and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with others, is required. Foreign language ability and regional expertise outside of North America, particularly with human rights issues in the developing world, and a capacity to continue the ongoing work of the Institute and Clinic is strongly preferred. Prior clinical education teaching experience is preferred, but not required.

Applicants should highlight strong relationships with the human rights advocacy community and how they would translate these relationships to help build bridges between advocacy and academia through the work of the Human Rights Institute, and develop productive experiential educational opportunities for law students. They should demonstrate a thoughtful approach to the future development of the Human Rights Institute and Clinic.

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Applicants must apply online. Hardcopy applications will not be accepted.

Applicants should apply online through Columbia University’s Recruitment of Academic Personnel System (RAPS) at:

Applications should be submitted by January 31, 2013, but we encourage interested applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible. Applications received after January 31, 2013 may not be considered.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. In furtherance of Columbia University’s and Columbia Law School’s fundamental commitment to diversity, minority group members and women are strongly encouraged to apply.



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