Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the Job: New Human Rights Clinic at Santa Clara University

I am thrilled to announced that Santa Clara University School of Law is launching a new international human rights clinic. We are conducting a national search to identify outstanding individuals to direct this new clinical program. We recognize that there are many different models for human rights clinics. The faculty has decided to invite each interested candidate for the director position to propose his/her own model for the new clinic. All proposals in the broad field of international human rights will be considered, but applicants should be aware of two constraints.

First, we may be less receptive to proposals for clinics whose subject matter overlaps with Santa Clara’s existing immigration law clinic, which focuses on asylum, withholding of deportation, and trafficking cases.

Second, although the law school will pay for all operational expenses associated with clinic operations, funding is not unlimited. Therefore, a clinic requiring extensive overseas travel by students may not be economically feasible.

Each interested candidate should submit a detailed written proposal, approximately 3000 words in length, explaining his/her vision for how the clinic would operate under his/her leadership. Proposals should explain how a specific proposal relates to the candidate’s own experience and interests. In addition, each proposal should address the following questions:

1. What specific legal skills will the clinic train students to develop? How will the clinic train students in those legal skills? In particular, to what extent and in what ways will the clinic be designed to train students in the following skills:

  • Drafting persuasive legal briefs

  • Litigation and oral advocacy skills

  • Client interviewing and counseling skills

  • Fact finding skills

  • Working with media as an advocacy tool

  • Experience dealing with foreign law and foreign legal systems

  • Experience dealing with clients who are not native English speakers

  • Experience dealing with potentially traumatized clients
2. What clients will the clinic serve? How will it serve those clients?
3. Will the clinic’s activities focus on a specific type of human rights issue? If so, what issues or issue areas will be the focus of the clinic’s work?
4. Will the clinic’s activities focus on a specific region of the world? If so, which one?
5. To what extent will the clinic focus on litigation, fact finding, client counseling, or other activities?
6. Will there be a need or opportunity for students to travel outside the United States to perform clinic-related tasks? If so, where would they go and what types of tasks would they perform?
7. Assuming that the clinic would be involved in some litigation, in what forum would the clinic’s litigation efforts be focused?

  • Domestic courts?

  • International tribunals?

  • Foreign courts?

  • Other?
8. How will the clinic be similar to or different from other law school human rights clinics?
9. In what ways will the clinic complement Santa Clara’s existing clinical programs?

Essential attributes and responsibilities of this position are:

1. JD degree or comparable degree from a law school outside the United States.
2. At least five years of experience as a practicing lawyer, including experience litigating issues related to international human rights in U.S., foreign and/or international tribunals.
3. Experience training and mentoring students and/or lawyers.
4. The person filling this position will serve as a supervising attorney and clinical faculty member. In this capacity, the faculty member will:

• Provide instruction in clinical law courses, including the direct supervision of law students.
• Counsel and mentor students, including advancing student job opportunities by arranging for students to work with law firms on clinic cases.

5. The person filling this position will serve as Director of the International Human Rights Clinic. In this capacity:

• The Director is responsible for the administration and operation of the Clinic’s programs, projects and activities, including directing the Clinic’s staff, maintaining budget planning and financial operations, and overseeing contract and grant compliance and reporting.
• Other duties include writing grant proposals to support the Clinic, engaging in community outreach, maintaining relationships with international human rights organizations, and coordinating with the Clinic’s Advisory Board.
• The Director holds an 11-month contract and teaches courses in the Law School. The Director is eligible for renewable multi-year contracts and is annually reviewed and evaluated by the Dean or his or her designee.

Interested applicants should submit their applications this summer to yours truly and my colleague David Sloss.

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