The 2016–2017 Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship Program (United States)

Columbia Law School announces 2016-2017 Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship Program for individuals with extraordinary potential in the field of international human rights.

The Fellowship is designed to support students pursuing an LL.M. degree at Columbia who show exceptional commitment and potential to use their education to become innovators and leaders in human rights practice and/or academia. 

The Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship is jointly coordinated by Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, the focal point of human rights work, education, critical reflection, and scholarship at the Law School, and the Office of Graduate Legal Studies, which manages the School’s LL.M. and J.S.D. Programs. Fellowships offer partial to full waivers of tuition, and in some cases, a living stipend, depending on the applicant’s demonstrated level of financial need. 

LL.M. Human Rights Fellows will receive tailored skills and career mentoring in both practice and academic scholarship from Human Rights Institute faculty, staff, and advisers; be invited to special events with leading human rights advocates and scholars; and be afforded the opportunity to participate in the Human Rights Institute’s cutting-edge research projects. Fellows will also be given special consideration for admission to Columbia’s Human Rights Clinic, an innovative course where students learn to be strategic, creative, and critical human rights advocates while pursuing social justice in partnership with civil society and communities, and while advancing human rights methodologies and scholarship. Fellows are expected to devote a significant part of their studies while at Columbia to human rights, and to take an active part in the Law School’s vibrant human rights community. 

Applicants must demonstrate experience in international human rights and a commitment to a career in the field, whether in academia and/or human rights practice. Candidates from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and candidates who face impediments to education and leadership because of their race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background, gender, or sexual orientation are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To be eligible for the Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship, applicants must first meet the admission criteria and be admitted to the LL.M. Program at Columbia Law School. For more information, visit:

 The deadline to apply is December 15, 2015.

 A complete Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship Application consists of:

  • a completed application for admission to the LL.M. program through LSAC,
  • a separate, short essay of 1 to 2 pages, describing the applicant’s qualifications for the fellowship (applicants should discuss their current and previous human rights work, interest in and commitment to the field, career goals, and human rights vision; the essay should be uploaded to the Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship section of the LSAC online application), 
  • letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant’s prior work and future potential as a human rights advocate, scholar, and/or practitioner (the 2 letters of recommendation submitted for the LL.M. application may also be used for the Fellowship if they comment on the applicant’s human rights work and commitment; in the case that one or both of the letters of recommendation for the LL.M. Program application do not speak to the human rights aspects of the applicant’s background and future interests, the applicant may submit a third letter of recommendation through the LSAC online application from a professor or human rights practitioner who can comment knowledgeably about her or his human rights commitment, experience, and future plans), 
  • a completed Application for Financial Assistance as part of the LSAC Online LL.M. application (in providing a candid picture of your financial resources, you are enabling the selection committee to determine the appropriate level of assistance to provide to each Fellow and to maximize the number of Fellowships it can award each year). 

For more information, contact the Office of Graduate Legal Studies.