International Human Rights Clinic Ramps Up Outreach Efforts with New Fellow

Alejandra Palacios, a 2018 graduate of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, has joined the law school’s International Human Rights Clinic as an Illinois Bar Foundation Fellow. In this position, Palacios will assist in the Clinic’s outreach projects.

Under Palacios’s leadership, the Clinic has hosted two community outreach events, the first in Chicago and the second in Waukegan, Illinois. At the events, Palacios and John Marshall clinic students hosted an informational workshop on applying for asylum. The workshop is conducted in multiple languages, depending on the audience.

“The goal of the events is to provide easier access to justice for various communities,” Palacios said. “I believe by hosting workshops, providing legal information in different languages and making sure people are aware of the services available to them at the IHRC, we will continue to see success. We may not always have all of the answers but we are able to point people in the right direction.”

John Marshall’s International Human Rights Clinic promotes human rights domestically and around the world by providing direct legal representation to clients and organizations in international and domestic forums; documenting human rights violations in the United States and abroad; collaborating with other human rights organizations on cases and projects; and publishing and presenting reports, papers, and other materials related to human rights. The Clinic offers law students a background in human rights advocacy through the practical experience of working on international human rights cases and projects.

In January 2016, the Clinic launched its first asylum-based project, the Human Rights for Syrians Initiative. The Initiative established a network of advocates, attorneys, and service providers in the United States to support Syrian refugees and asylum seekers.

“Asylum work is more important now than ever,” Sarah Davila-Ruhaak, Director of John Marshall’s Clinic said. “Protecting human rights at home is imperative. We need to act locally and globally. Everything that we do connects to a broad vision of human rights.”

About the Illinois Bar Foundation Post-Graduate Legal Fellowship
Recognizing the vast unmet civil legal needs of low-income residents of the State of Illinois and understanding that these needs are best served when addressed by a trained attorney, the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation have begun funding year-long post-graduate legal fellowships in partnership with law schools operating civil legal aid clinics in the State of Illinois. The IBF and the law schools share the cost of each fellowship, which is awarded annually. Fellowships are awarded to qualifying graduates who work in their alma mater’s civil legal aid clinic.

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