Classes & Clinics

Students get opportunities to collaborate with participate in cutting-edge civil rights and human rights advocacy. 

The Justice Initiative

Logo for the Systemic Justice Project

The Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law School and the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law will launch a year-long pilot project called “The Justice Initiative” with 10, three-hour programming sessions. Dozens of lawyers from around the country and more than 200 law students from more than 50 U.S. law schools are already participating in this pilot program, as are Howard University school of Law Students.


Course Listings

Critical Race Theory

This course is instructed by our Executive Director Justin Hansford to law students as they learn about ideologies of Critical Race Theory, such as interest convergence and intersectionality. Law students are introduced to various civil-rights scholars and activists and are forced to critically examine the law as it intersects with race, all the whitle challenging liberalism and its approach to racial equity.

Course #2: Race, Law and Change

The course is taught by one of the Center's faculty advisor's Dr. Greg Carr. 

Course #3: Howard Human & Civil Rights Review

Howard Human & Civil Rights Law Review [“HCR”] is a student-managed, faculty-supervised law review published by the Howard University School of Law. HCR focuses on issues related to human rights, civil rights, and international law.

The Movement Lawyering Clinic

The Movement Lawyering Clinic advocates on behalf of clients and communities fighting for the realization of the civil and human rights guarantees promised by the United States Constitution and International Human Rights treaties. Students in the clinic will work in the context of federal and state litigation, advocate before international human rights tribunals, and utilize these mechanisms to support movements for social change. Cases include a range of matters, including police brutality, racial justice, mass incarceration and unconstitutional prison conditions, and other concerns that implicate core constitutional and human rights.  Students will also have the opportunity to work with the Thurgood Marshall Center, collaborating with community groups struggling to realize the vision of the burgeoning black lives matter movement, going beyond litigation to explore alternative modes of advocacy.

Students work with faculty in classroom-seminar and clinical-practice settings to review the trial court records, prepare memoranda, consult with clients, research and write the briefs, memoranda, and human rights reports, and prepare and conduct oral argument and testimony when applicable. The pedagogical goal of the Clinic is for students and faculty to critically examine the analytical and linguistic challenges of effective advocacy, the legal and strategic considerations of lawyering in support of social movements in the civil and human rights context, the ethical and professional obligations of client representation, and the social and political implications of advocacy for civil and human rights. Applications are available for rising second and third year law students. Interviews take place in late March. 

The Civil Rights Clinic

The Civil Rights Clinic litigates on behalf of indigent clients in civil rights and social justice cases. Cases include a range of civil rights matters such as employment and housing discrimination, police brutality, denial of full voting rights, unconstitutional prison conditions, and procedural barriers that preclude indigent litigants from effective access to the courts.

Thurgood Marshall Center Internship Program

The center supervised three full time interns over the summer.  The interns worked on all of the projects that the center worked on over the summer, including responses to the George Floyd protests, the coronavirus, and other human rights and civil rights issues related to this phenomenon. Summer Internship Application extended deadline: April 18, 2022 (midnight). Visit the Summer Internships page for more information or email 

Courses at HU

Suggested Course(s): International Human Rights; Civil Rights Planning; Race, Law, and Change; Social Justice Lawyering; Howard Human & Civil Rights Review; Labor Law