Candidates for the LLM degree have the opportunity to concentrate in Human Rights. Both US- and internationally-trained lawyers are invited to join in the School of Law's commitment to promote social, cultural and economic rights.


The LLM concentration in Human Rights is a twelve-month program, starting and ending in August. Students interested in the concentration are encouraged to apply by May 4.


The concentration in Human Rights, which requires the completion of 33 quarter credits, features:

A Minimum of Required Courses:  

  • All LLM students concentrating in Human Rights take four human rights-related courses: Human Rights and the Global Economy (or an equivalent introductory Human Rights course), International Law, plus two additional human rights-related courses (see sample list of offerings below).  
  • LLM students concentrating in Human Rights who obtained their first law degree outside the US benefit from three foundational courses: Legal Research, Legal Writing I & II as well as Introduction to the US Legal System, which provides the background knowledge and basic skills needed to succeed in the US law school environment and in the global practice of law. 

A Maximum of Elective Courses: LLM students concentrating in Human Rights enroll in JD upper-level courses (see sample list of human rights-related offerings below).

Co-op: All LLM students in good academic standing spend a quarter (10–11 weeks) completing a full-time legal practice experience. Co-op is an integral part of the LLM curriculum – no less important than your 33 credits of course work. Northeastern has developed placement opportunities with law firms engaged in advocacy work, nonprofits, government agencies, community organizations, NGOs and other advocacy groups around the world. Where you do your co-op — where in the world and where within the profession — is up to you. The LLM Professional Development Advisor, Meredith Aherne, will work with you to define where you want to go on co-op and refine how you present your qualifications. Together, you will find the co-op opportunity that best meets your unique goals. 

Independent Research and Writing: All LLM students concentrating in Human Rights identify a topic relating to human rights they are interested in exploring in the form of an independent research project and paper. A Northeastern law faculty member who shares your area of interest provides the necessary supervision, either in conjunction with a seminar or in the context of an independent study.

Sample Course Offerings (Human Rights)

  • International Criminal Law 
  • Refugee/Asylum Law 
  • International Health Law: Governance, Development, Rights 
  • Law and Economic Development 
  • The Rights of Non-Citizens 
  • Immigration Law 
  • Comparative Law: Law, Markets and Democracy in East Asia 
  • International and Foreign Legal Research 
  • International Human Rights Seminar: Race, Gender and Culture 
  • Balancing Liberty and Security Seminar 
  • Private Litigation for Social Justice 
  • Problems in Public Health Law 
  • Reproductive and Sexual Rights and Health 
  • Social Welfare Law 
  • Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Clinic 
  • Poverty Law and Practice Clinic 
  • Prisoner’s Rights Clinic 

Not all courses are offered each academic year. Consult the Course Catalog available from the Office of Academic and Student Affairs for specific information about when courses are offered. 

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