The PHRGE Fellowships give Northeastern law students the opportunity to address economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights both within the US and internationally. Each student fellow receives a stipend to work full time for three months as a staff member at a partner organization. Four students rotate through the position over a year. New fellows are able to build directly on the work of prior fellows, encouraging employers to engage students in the full range of the organization’s work.
PHRGE employers are among the most effective ESC rights organizations in the world. In 2012-2013:
- Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi, India
- Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, Baltimore, MD
- National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Washington, DC
- Oxfam America, Boston, MA
- Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, MA
Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in New Delhi, India: HRLN is a collective of lawyers and social activists dedicated to the use of the legal system to advance human rights. The organization collaborates with social movements, human rights organizations, and grass-roots development groups to enforce the rights of children, Dalits, people with disabilities, farmers, HIV positive people, the homeless, indigenous people, prisoners, refugees, religious and sexual minorities, women, and workers, among others. HRLN provides pro bono legal services, conducts public interest litigation, engages in advocacy, conducts legal awareness programs, investigates violations, publishes “know your rights” materials, and participates in campaigns. Students at HRLN work on the legal and social aspects of public interest initiatives, thereby allowing them to develop skills and an insight into how law and social activism, when combined, can achieve practical benefits for working people and the poor.
Maryland Legal Aid Bureau (MDLAB) in Baltimore, MD: MDLAB is a state-wide non-profit law firm that has provided quality legal services to low-income individuals and is the first legal services organization in the country to adopt a human rights framework. In doing so, it has been an incubator of ideas, analysis and action on how best to harness in a practical way the set of potentially game-changing tools, and strategies provided by international human rights in advocating for real change in the lives of the poor and disenfranchised. MDLAB seeks to incorporate human rights norms, language and strategies into its domestic work to help re-frame debates, advocate for holistic approaches and advance the recognition and protection of basic human rights. Students at MDLAB collaborate with the MDLAB Project Director to ensure a full integration of human rights methodologies into every aspect of work done at MDLAB, including litigation, trainings, community outreach materials, staff – client relationships and office systems.
The National Center for Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) in Washington, DC: The mission of NLCHP is to serve as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to prevent and end homelessness. To achieve its mission, the organization pursues three main strategies: impact litigation, policy advocacy and public education. NLCHP strives to place homelessness in the larger context of poverty. By taking this approach, the organization aims to address homelessness as a visible manifestation of deeper causes, including the shortage of affordable housing, insufficient income and inadequate social services. Students work on NLCHP’s human rights projects, including working with local housing commissions to embrace a human right to housing, litigating human rights issues with local lawyers and raising U.S. homelessness and poverty issues in international fora.
Oxfam-America in Boston: Oxfam-America is a leading international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 90 countries, Oxfam-America saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. It is one of the 14 affiliates in the international confederation, Oxfam. Students work in the Private Sector Engagement Unit, which addresses human rights and corporate responsibility issues. Previous NUSL student work has involved defining the human rights obligations of multinational corporations, participating in a multi-stakeholder initiative on governance and contributing to the movement on socially responsible investment.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) in Boston: Physicians for Human Rights mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice, and promotes the right to health for all. PHR (1) advocates for fair treatment of asylum seekers and immigration detainees and staffs a network of 300 health professionals who conduct forensic examinations of individuals seeking asylum in the U.S.; (2) documents torture around the world including the systematic use of torture by U.S. personnel against detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and Bagram; and (3) promotes the right to health for individuals in state custody. Students provide legal support to PHR’s Asylum Program Director, for example, preparing briefing materials on torture under international human rights law for presentations at medical schools, drafting articles on immigration detention and the right to health and participating in investigations and policy work on the lack of adequate health care for immigration detainees.
PHRGE is currently accepting applications for PHRGE fellowships at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau for the summer 2013 quarter. The stipend for the NLCHP fellowship is $4,750 and the stipend for MDLAB is $3,500.
The application package should include a resume, writing sample, course evaluations and co-op evaluations. In addition, please include a cover letter describing your human rights interests and experience, whether through law school coursework, pre-law school experience, prior coops or some other work or study experience. While prior experience need not be extensive, some familiarity with international human rights is a prerequisite for the fellowship.
Applications should be submitted through Symplicity and are due March 15th. Please note that you should only submit an application if you are prepared to accept an offer if one is made. Please contact Mariah McGill firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.