Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic

The Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School in New York City was established in 2007 through a generous donation from Jim Leitner ('82). The Leitner Clinic aims to train a new generation of human rights lawyers and to inspire results-oriented, practical human rights work throughout the world. We work in partnership with non-governmental organizations and foreign law schools on international human rights projects ranging from legal and policy analysis, mobile legal aid clinics, fact-finding and report writing, human rights trainings, public interest litigation, and submissions before human rights bodies.

Through real-world human rights advocacy experiences, the Leitner Clinic equips Fordham Law students with the necessary skills to become effective human rights advocates and public interest-minded lawyers. The Leitner Clinic aims to hone students' skills in legal and factual research, persuasive writing, effective oral advocacy, creative thinking and problem solving, and team work. Fieldwork abroad is also an integral part of the learning experience. Hands-on engagement with practical human rights projects provides law students with a richer and more complete understanding of the real world implications and challenges of human rights advocacy.

Beyond the pedagogical aspects of the Clinic's goals, we aim to contribute to the work of human rights organizations. The Clinic concentrates its efforts on human rights issues in nine “focus countries,” including Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Sierra Leone and the United States.  Since it began in 2007, the Leitner Clinic has partnered with the Collective for Research and Training on Development-Action (CRTD.A) and Helem in Lebanon, the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota and Deported Diaspora in the United States, the Carter Center/Justice and Peace Commission in Liberia, Salvation Centre Cambodia (SCC) and Returnee Integration Support Center in Cambodia, the Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) and the Coalition of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi, Timap for Justice and Center for Safe Motherhood Youth and Child Outreach (CESMYCO) in Sierra Leone, SANGRAM in India, Center Prodh in Mexico and Addis Ababa Law School in Ethiopia on diverse human rights projects focusing on women’s reproductive health rights, fair trade, LGBTIQ issues, land rights, access to justice, prisoners rights, property grabbing, witchcraft accusations, constitutional interpretation, female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS, child maintenance, returnee rights, environmental defenders and sex workers rights.

The Leitner Clinic is directed by Chi Mgbako, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, and co-supervised by Katherine Glenn, Human Rights Clinical Teaching Fellow.


Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
33 West 60th Street (2nd Floor)
New York, NY 10023

Telephone: 212.636.6862
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Fordham offers one of the most extensive human rights curricula of any law school in the United States

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Faculty and Staff
Elisabeth Wickeri
Executive Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
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