Journal of Refugee & Global Health


The Human Rights Advocacy Program (HRAP or the Program) at the Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville, represents a unique collaboration of law faculty and students providing critical resources to the local immigrant, noncitizen and refugee community in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as local service providers to this community. The Program, established in Spring 2014, is distinctive because of its non-hierarchical internal model and the participatory action research and policy focus of its work. The Program is a distinguished from the typical law school clinical model in its focus on community engaged research, policy advocacy, and service, as well as its innovative funding and institutional support.

The Program began with a Louisville Bar Foundation grant and was transformed by institutional support in the form of admissions-based student fellowships, public service graduation requirements providing the opportunity for wider student involvement, and related public service placement opportunities for students. Currently, the Program operates with direct law school funding and law school admissions scholarships competitively granted to qualifying students. The competitive selection criteria focus on student interest, experience, and capacity for human rights advocacy work. HRAP supports law students in their development as human rights advocates, researchers, and leaders. The Program offers students the opportunity to pursue their own interests in this field, gain subject matter expertise, and become leaders on projects that have a meaningful social justice impact in the local community.