Frank C. Newman International Human Rights Law Clinic

Following World War II, San Francisco was the birthplace of the United Nations. Now, USF law students have a chance to continue the city’s legacy by working with the UN on critical human rights issues involving women and children, access to adequate housing, and access to clean water.

USF is one of the few law schools that sends students to participate at UN bodies. Students research and prepare presentations for the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Commission on the Status of Women.

In addition, as representatives of Berkeley-based NGO Human Rights Advocates, students have a chance to present cases to the Council at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, or to the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. Students may also work on briefs detailing international law standards to U.S. courts and represent individual clients before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Students will engage with the legal practice hands on, learning a variety of practical skills by:

  • Preparing reports on subjects covered by the UN bodies
  • Verifying facts for their reports
  • Preparing and making oral statements for the bodies
  • Discussing their topics with government delegates at the meetings
  • Attending and participating in resolution drafting sessions
  • Presenting their projects and what they learned at a law school public event


Connie de la Vega

Full-Time Faculty
(415) 422-2296

Professor Connie de la Vega writes extensively on international human rights law and participates in United Nations human rights meetings. She has submitted amicus briefs detailing international law standards to U.S. courts for juvenile death penalty and affirmative action cases, including Roper v. Simmons and Graham and Sullivan v. Florida, and has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. De la Vega is the co–author of The American Legal System for Foreign Lawyers (Wolters Kluwer, 2011) and...


BA, Scripps College, JD, UC Berkeley


Application of International Law in the U.S., Death Penalty Law, Discrimination - Race, Human Rights, International Human Rights Law, International Law, Sentencing Practices