Klau Center welcomes new class of human rights lawyers to Notre Dame

Author: Kevin Fye


The Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights welcomes the new class of international human rights lawyers to Notre Dame Law School for the 2019-20 academic year.

The LL.M. class of 2020 includes 20 lawyers from 15 countries, who have come to Notre Dame to deepen their theoretical foundation and broaden their advocacy skill set. The Law School program, with support from the Klau Center, continues to attract dedicated human rights advocates from around the world, and this year two new countries will be added to the alumni roster: Honduras and Belize are represented for the first time. The class includes former lawyers for international human rights tribunals, litigators, Ombudsman and NHRI officers, a UNHCR refugee expert, former UN human rights officers, an international election monitor, as well as lawyers for migrants, human rights defenders, journalists, and the disappeared.

Also beginning their Notre Dame experience this year are two new students in the J.S.D. program, from Syria and Chile, who join six current doctoral candidates.

The human rights lawyers from both programs are Graduate Student Affiliates of the Klau Center, and will participate in the life of the center throughout the academic year.

Sean O'Brien, director of the LL.M. Program in International Human Rights Law and member of the Klau Center's faculty advisory committee, celebrates the intellectual and regional diversity of this year's group as among its greatest strengths. "These lawyers come to us with experience working in international tribunals, grassroots human rights organizations, and key governmental positions,” says O’Brien. “They will fully engage our faculty's expertise and enrich the quality of the classroom experience for all Notre Dame law students.”

The LL.M. Program in International Human Rights Law was founded at Notre Dame Law School in 1987. Now considered among the finest of its kind, and one of the few offering an LL.M. degree focused exclusively on human rights law, the program has educated more than 400 lawyers from over 100 countries.