Nabihah Maqbool, '18, on Working in the International Human Rights Clinic

I went to law school to learn the legal technicalities, methods, and best practices involved in advocating on behalf of marginalized populations, and the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago taught me all of that and more. My participation as a student in the clinic was the most engaging and instructive learning experience I had during my three years, and each day I was part of actively contributing in the fight against some of the most pressing issues facing the country and the world today. During a time when it was easy to feel defeated and powerless over a depressing political landscape, working in the clinic restored my own sense of power and agency, and returned meaning to why I was in law school.

I had the chance to be immersed in multiple projects and learn from and provide feedback to other teams of students, providing all the law students a broad understanding of issues through the world and in the United States, from labor rights to national security to government oversight. Students in the clinic participate in projects that practicing attorneys would need to have years of practice before they would be invited to join. It is rare as a law student to be treated as a developing professional receiving critique and support; I felt valued by professors who provided ongoing mentorship in and out of the clinic, and modeled the best of intellectual inquiry and thoughtful advocacy. The clinic invited students to meet and present before the leaders in international organizations, civil rights and civil liberties organizations. My entire legal career trajectory has been shaped by my time in the clinic, and I am so thankful and so excited to continue down this path.

Nabihah Maqbool, '18