J.D. 1976, Northeastern University Law School
Areas of Expertise
Carolyn Patty Blum practiced in a legal services agency serving immigrants and refugees for eight years prior to initiating the clinical program in immigration and asylum law at Berkeley Law, University of California in 1984. She also served as the supervisor of the law school's practitioner-supervised and judicial extern field placement programs. Professor Blum was the guiding force behind the creation of Boalt's International Human Rights Law Clinic, which opened in 1998 as part of the school's Center for Clinical Education. Professor Blum retired from Berkeley in 2002 to move to New York and now holds the title Clinical Professor of Law Emerita.
Professor Blum is a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford and supervises the preparation of the dissertation in the Oxford Masters in International Human Rights Law Program, among other duties.
Professor Blum also is as an independent human rights consultant to academic, philanthropic and human rights organizations. She currently serves as the Senior Legal Adviser to the Center for Justice and Accountability, a San Francisco-based NGO that seeks to bring human rights abusers to justice. Professor Blum has worked with CJA since its founding on all of its cases seeking justice and accountability for torture, massacres, and extra-judicial killings during the Salvadoran state terror of the 1980s, including three successful Alien Tort Statute/Torture Victim Protection Act cases against top military commanders and the Jesuit massacre case currently pending before the Spanish National Court. She has represented CJA clients in immigration proceedings for the removal of two former Ministers of Defense of El Salvador. In addition, Professor Blum has worked on CJA’s case against one of the perpetrators of the notorious “Caravan of Death” under Augusto Pinochet in Chile.
The recipient of two Ford Foundation research grants, Professor Blum has been involved in precedent-setting litigation involving Central American and Haitian refugees, as well as women refugees. She has received three prestigious professional awards: two from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and one from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Professor Blum’s scholarship dovetails with the work described above, including a special emphasis on transitional justice, the use of national courts to achieve accountability, the role of media in human rights, the development of the doctrine of command responsibility, and U.S. refugee law. Her government service has included a stint on the Clinton-Gore Transition Team.