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Open-Rank Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Center for International Human Rights

Website Northwester Pritzker School of Law, Bluhm Legal Clinic

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law invites applications for a full-time clinical faculty position to serve as the director of its Center for International Human Rights within the Bluhm Legal Clinic with an expected start date of July 1, 2024. The CIHR, which is an endowed center, engages in a range of clinical and doctrinal courses pertaining to international human rights law and international justice.  The CIHR fosters the development of legal skills by its students through classroom learning and direct, intensive engagement, including on-site field work, in human rights projects and around the world. Through supervised practice, CIHR students build human rights lawyering skills and learn to appreciate the tensions and responsibilities in diverse legal systems and cultural settings.  The work of the CIHR includes international criminal justice and atrocity crime accountability; advocacy before international tribunals and UN bodies; health and human rights advocacy; and cutting-edge human rights litigation in the United States.

The CIHR serves as a vibrant hub within the law school for engagement with international human rights issues within the U.S. and around the world. The CIHR is also responsible for the law school’s international externship program, through which students can spend a semester or a summer at a supervised international human rights or international justice externship. Working with law school student organizations such as the Journal of Human Rights and the International Law Society, the CIHR organizes events for the law school community featuring leading voices in human rights scholarship and advocacy.  As one signature example, CIHR oversees its “Global Jurist of the Year” award, honoring a sitting jurist, whether in an international or national court, who has demonstrated courage in the face of adversity to uphold and defend fundamental human rights or the principles of international criminal justice. CIHR faculty play a key role with the law school’s LLM, MSL, and Joint Degree JD/LLM Programs in International Human Rights.  CIHR is one of few U.S. legal clinics that possess special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which gives Northwestern faculty and students privileged access to participation in UN meetings and events.

Role and Responsibilities

The Director will provide leadership to the range of programs and activities carried out by CIHR.  The Director will also teach a clinical course with a reduced number of students to accommodate the Director’s other responsibilities. The Director will also supervise the International Externship Program and participate in the teaching and scholarship review duties in that program. The Director should be willing to travel with students and colleagues in the course of CIHR’s work. The individual will play an active role in Bluhm Legal Clinic and Law School meetings, events and committee work, with an eye to fostering collaboration where possible.


Qualifications for Position

The candidate should possess the following qualifications:

Broad knowledge of human rights law and extensive experience (at least five years) in human rights advocacy, preferably both within and outside the U.S.

A JD or other graduate-level degree in law.

License to practice law in an American jurisdiction is strongly preferred.

In addition to a record of teaching, advocacy, and intellectual engagement, the ideal candidate will have experience as a practicing lawyer or human rights advocate; in practice-oriented courses; in student supervision; and in working collaboratively with other rights advocates and faculty. Other evidence of relevant knowledge of and practical engagement in international human rights law and mechanisms is welcome. The ideal candidate should be experienced in both experiential and doctrinal modes of instruction.

The candidate should have demonstrated experience with relevant multi-stakeholder groups and international organizations and tribunals, and have developed a network of contacts that can be accessed for clinical and other experiential teaching purposes.

The candidate should have fluency in English and preferably at least one additional language.

The candidate should have excellent intercultural skills as well as good communication and team-working skills.

The candidate should have the ability to collaborate, a commitment to creating a working environment that is inclusive, equitable and welcoming, and a willingness to honor the diverse experiences and perspectives of Bluhm staff, students, and clients.


LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois

COMPENSATION: The salary is competitive and includes an excellent benefits package through Northwestern University.  Salary will be commensurate with experience and based on years of relevant work experience.

TO APPLY:  Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a list of three professional references, and a recent legal writing sample through Northwestern’s online application system here. Applicants are also invited to submit a statement addressing their past and/or potential contributions to enhancing diversity, equity, and/or inclusion through legal practice, teaching, personal experience and/or service.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis but must be submitted by February 15, 2024.  Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

All applicants must have and be committed to the cultural competence required to work with clients and colleagues who come from different backgrounds and experiences.

Please read ALL instructions and make preparations before proceeding to the application page:

Applications will only be accepted via online submission (see link below).
Please prepare all documents in advance as Adobe PDF files, and please be sure all information is entered correctly and accurately (especially names and email addresses), as there will be no opportunity for online revision after your application has been submitted.
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