Faculty Director and Assistant Clinical Professor of Law: Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum

Visiting Instructor of Clinic Law & Telford Taylor Fellow: Faraz Sanei

As part of the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights (CLIHHR), the Benjamin B. Ferencz Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention (HRAP) Clinic provides students with hands-on legal training under the supervision of clinical professors and faculty members. The HRAP Clinic trains the next generation of human rights advocates while offering students the opportunity to make a difference.

The Clinic adheres to the Institute’s three-part strategy of preventing genocide and mass atrocities, recognizing that it implies protecting populations and rebuilding during and after crisis. The Clinic partners with human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to allow students to experience human rights advocacy in its various forms. The Clinic’s human rights case projects often fall under one of the Institute’s projects. The Clinic litigates before international and regional tribunals, investigates human rights violations, publishes cutting-edge academic and policy scholarship on atrocity prevention, and engages in strategic advocacy before the UN and other relevant bodies.The Clinic draws upon human rights law and the Institute’s framework on genocide and mass atrocity prevention, to provide students with a unique lens through which to view issues of forced migration and asylum law. Students will sharpen their skills in areas of legal brief writing, and legal research. Students will also learn to work with interpreters, as it is often necessary to communicate with their clients.

Featured Alumni


Julia worked on a refugee rights project in Southeast Asia during the 2018-2019 academic year. She applied for the HRAP clinic because "it was clearly the best place at Cardozo to focus solely on human rights and to learn how to use a law degree to be an advocate." She believes that human rights and atrocity prevention has always been essential, but it is now especially important in the face of modern day extremism and climate change. During her time in the clinic, Julia gained an understanding of international human rights mechanisms and learned how to work effectively with bureaucratic institutions. She feels prepared to interpret international human rights laws and norms into her future career. Julia is in her third-year of law school and will graduate in May 2020. 


How to Apply

To apply for the Benjamin B. Ferencz Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic, students should have completed a law school or graduate level course in International Law and/or Human Rights. Significant undergraduate course work in a related field may also be accepted. A demonstrated interest in human rights and genocide prevention as well as the law of asylum is a plus.

Students should submit their transcript, writing sample, and letter of interest through the clinic application process. Please note that students must list clinic choices in the order of preference.

An advanced clinic is offered during the Spring semester for students who have completed the Fall clinic and want to stay on to complete their cases or who want to continue to explore the world of human rights.

Clinic Structure

Orientation and Training
There is an intensive orientation and training in late August, before the semester begins, in an effort to ensure that all students have had a primer in International Law, Human Rights Law, and Asylum Law. This two-day training covers core concepts that will be explored over the course of the Fall semester during the weekly seminar. Upon request, students can be given a reading list over the summer so that they can familiarize themselves with the materials that will be covered during the weekly seminar.

Case Assignments
Students, working in two-person teams, are assigned a case project. Students will be given summaries of the case projects before the semester begins and asked to rank them in the order of their preference. However, projects will be assigned based on the right match between clinic needs and skills. 

For more information:

Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum