Human Rights Scholars Program

The Human Rights Scholars program offers currently enrolled NYU Law students the opportunity to be a part of the Center community through close interaction with CHRGJ faculty and staff. Human Rights Scholars contribute to the Center’s activities as research assistants and can undertake independent writing projects under the guidance of CHRGJ faculty and staff. The program runs for the full academic year.

Research Assistance

Human Rights Scholars work with CHRGJ faculty and staff to further the Center’s research agenda and to support the design and implementation of the Center’s projects, conferences, workshops, and other programming. Each Human Rights Scholar will be assigned a primary supervisor from among CHRGJ faculty or senior staff. Research for the Center is compensated or undertaken for RA academic credit. Work is assigned on an as-needed basis. Workloads vary by supervisor, but Scholars should be prepared to contribute a minimum of 60 hours per semester of RA assistance.

Legal Director Nikki Reisch with 2016-2017 Human Rights Scholar Katerina Wright, JD '19
Legal Director Nikki Reisch with 2016-2017 Human Rights Scholar Katerina Wright, JD '19

The Center houses the Global Justice Clinic, Just Security, and two UN experts and their research staff: the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence.

Center faculty and staff work across a diverse range of issues, including:



Human Rights Scholars have access to work space at the Center and are integrated into CHRGJ’s community of staff, faculty, and visiting scholars through invitations to its social events, research workshops, and expert convenings.

Independent Writing

Students also interested in working on their own academic research projects are strongly encouraged to consider the program. Human Rights Scholars will benefit from guidance and feedback from CHRGJ faculty and staff. At the discretion of the supervisor, earning academic credit may be an option through NYU’s Directed Research program or through enrollment in a course with a writing component taught by CHRGJ faculty. Scholars writing papers are encouraged to submit papers to CHRGJ and IILJ’s annual Emerging Human Rights Scholarship Conference, a forum that provides students with the unique opportunity to receive detailed feedback from experts and peers in order to prepare work of publishable quality.


“In a way quite unique from other aspects of law school, the Human Rights Scholars program has allowed me to engage with individuals using the law and rights-based frameworks in innovative, dynamic, and creative ways.”
Nora Christiani, JD '19

Other Research Assistant Positions

Professors Alston, Goodman, and Satterthwaite often advertise for additional RA positions throughout the academic year and summer. These openings will be posted on our Employment page and on The Docket when available.

Read more about working as a research assistant for a NYU School of Law Professor.



Related Announcements
Call for Applications to the 2018-2019 HR Scholars Program
Past Human Rights Scholars

Nora Christiani is a second-year JD candidate at NYU studying the intersection of migration and human rights, with a particular focus on family unity and children’s rights. As a Human Rights Scholar, she works on the American Poverty and Human Rights series and on research related to arts and human rights with the Center’s Executive Director Deborah Popowski and Legal Director Nikki Reisch. Additionally, she is the co-chair of the NYU Law Immigrant Rights Project, a student advocate with the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, and the professional chair of Law Students for Human Rights. She has also interned at Brooklyn Defender Services in the Family Defense unit.

Nora has a background in human rights media and participatory education models, and has worked on documentary films about reproductive justice in the Lakota community, women’s economic human rights in Latin America, and the Ríos Montt genocide trial in Guatemala. From 2012-2013, she served as a Princeton in Latin America Fellow with Redes de Tutoría, a Mexican civil society organization promoting a liberatory education model in rural public schools in Mexico. Nora graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University with a BA in Latin American Studies. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts.

Deirdre Dlugoleski is a second-year JD candidate at NYU working as a Human Rights Scholar on the Data Visualization Project with Professor Margaret Satterthwaite. She is also a student advocate in the Global Justice Clinic, where she works on community land monitoring and data analysis.

Deirdre spent her first-year summer as an International Law and Human Rights Fellow at Human Rights Law Network in New Delhi where she researched and wrote briefs for human rights litigation in the Delhi High Court and the Indian Supreme Court. Her work covered the right to education, regulatory protections for healthcare workers, environmental justice, and the right to health. Before law school, she spent a year in India as a Fulbright Scholar teaching English and researching India’s Right to Education Act, followed by two years working in education policy consulting in Washington, D.C.

Yoojin Lee is a first-year JD candidate at NYU working as a Human Rights Scholar on the Human Rights Resilience Project with Professor Margaret Satterthwaite and Consulting Fellow Ria Singh Sawhney.

Yoojin received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from NYU Abu Dhabi. Her undergraduate study and her thesis, Relations between Attachment Security and Life Story Themes, examined how humans develop resilience through their interactions with various factors in their environment, ranging from their primary caregivers to broader society. Her academic interest and passion for human rights stem from the insights she obtained from her background in psychology. In the future, she aims to research and foster human resilience against dehumanizing legal systems and practices.

Jennifer Daphne Lim is an LLM candidate at NYU, specializing in International Legal Studies. As a Human Rights Scholar, she works on the Human Rights Resilience Project with Professor Margaret Satterthwaite and Consulting Fellow Ria Singh Sawhney. Her interest in well-being for lawyers led her to co-create the podcast Compos Mentis. Her research interests lie in law and development and human rights and global governance, in particular the regulation of and by international institutions.

Jennifer has significant expertise in government litigation and legal policy, most recently advising on the human rights impacts of legislative reforms including justice, health and environmental issues. She previously practiced as a crown solicitor, acting for the Commonwealth of Australia in administrative and tort law cases. She was also a law clerk to Justice Beach of the Federal Court of Australia and case reporter for the Federal Court Reports. She holds a Bachelor of Arts/Law with Honours from the University of Melbourne and was an Australian representative at the Georgetown Center for Transnational Legal Studies.

Anjali Mehta is a first-year JD candidate at NYU working as a Human Rights Scholar on the American Poverty and Human Rights series and on research relating to arts and human rights with CHRGJ Executive Director Deborah Popowski and Legal Director Nikki Reisch. A professional dancer, Anjali’s passion lies in storytelling and truth seeking as it relates to justice. She is a legal team member of the International Refugee Assistance Project, through which she is currently helping a client navigate the resettlement process in the United States. Additionally, she is a researcher for NYU’s International Criminal Court Moot Court team. In February 2018, she will be co-presenting a workshop exploring the use of movement as a tool for self-awareness and emotional healing along with its use in guiding storytelling techniques for practicing and future lawyers at Yale’s Rebellious Lawyering Conference.

Anjali was introduced to the legal world as an undergraduate intern at the Ministry of Justice in Chile, where she worked with the Department of Human Rights to codify a legal definition of “torture” while remaining truthful to the stories of survivors of the Pinochet regime. In 2016, she served as a Fulbright Fellow in Maceió, Brazil, teaching English and dance to students and exploring the use of storytelling as a mechanism for self-healing. While there, she had the opportunity to work with Centro Universitário CESMAC, a private university, on their legal research regarding Quilombo communities and their right to land. In 2017, she worked with Americans for Immigrant Justice and their Detention and Asylum team, working to use the justice system in order to protect the most vulnerable asylum seekers here in the United States.

Elise Perry is an LLM candidate at NYU, specializing in international human rights law. As a Human Rights Scholar, she works with the Transitional Justice Program and provides research support to the UN Special Rapporteur on truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff and Research Officer Danica Damplo. She is also enrolled in courses on strategic human rights advocacy and transitional justice, as well as the International Organizations Clinic, through which she works on a project to be referenced by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston.

Elise holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree from the Australian National University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection. Prior to moving to New York in August 2017, she worked at the Attorney-General’s Department in Australia, primarily in the areas of criminal law policy, countering violent extremism, and international cooperation, and at the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions as a solicitor advocate. Her passion for human rights law stems from volunteering at a refugee legal center and at a local women’s refuge to document the oral history of clients.


Sarika Arya, JD 2017

Hanna Hallonsten, LLM 2017

Ayako Hatano, LLM 2017

Jorge Carlos Peniche Baqueiro, LLM 2017

Shreya Rastogi, LLM 2017

Marcela Schaefer, JD 2019

Amy Tan, JD 2017

Katerina Wright, JD 2019


Sahiba Gill, JD 2017

Brooke Guven, LLM 2016

Varin Singh, LLM 2016

Peter Speelman, JD 2016

Kate Nancy Taylor, LLM 2016


Emily Buist-Catherwood, LLM 2015

Natalia Restrepo-Ortiz, LLM 2015

Allie Wilson, JD 2016


Tom Artaki, JD 2014

Tamara Morgenthau, LLM 2014


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