Kaitlyn Hennigan, Program Coordinator, International Human Rights Clinic
International Human Rights Clinic
I began working with the Human Rights Program (HRP) in November 2009 as the Program Assistant. That was back when we were located in Pound Hall. I can’t believe that was almost four and a half years ago! I moved into my current role focusing primarily on the International Human Rights Clinic in July 2010 and HRP moved into our new WCC home that year in December. I’m originally from New Hampshire. I studied Journalism at UNH and moved to Boston after graduation.
I love organizing stuff. Seriously, I am the person you want to call when you are trying to fit all your camping gear into the trunk of your Jetta. I can do it, very well and very quickly. However, I’m terrible at puzzles. Go figure. In my role at the clinic I use my organizational and communication skills to manage the day to day administration of the clinic. I provide our students with an orientation to our processes and procedures each semester and make sure to answer all of their questions along the way. I work with our Directors and Clinical Instructors to implement policies and make decisions about clinic endeavors. I also work closely with our Clinical Fellow and Directors to plan and execute a full day human rights-related role play simulation for our students. Students work in teams to interview different actors who pose as characters from a fact pattern designed by the clinical faculty. It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!
Right now we are going through the hiring process for our Clinical Advocacy Fellow position. I am involved in the initial interviewing phases and it’s been a great experience to interact with such a diverse and talented pool of candidates. Though we are so sad to see our current fellow move on, it will be exciting to add a new face to our clinical line up.
I love how big our office is – not just physically (of course, that’s great too), but the number of people I get to interact with on a daily basis is energizing (a plus for an extrovert like me!). HRP is unique in that it houses an academic program and a clinic including four staff, four directors, three clinical instructors, one clinical fellow, and five to six visiting fellows per semester. Each person is working on something slightly different in the human rights sphere, so collectively we make up (and in my case, support) a broad spectrum of human rights expertise and provide a great resource for our students. I also love interacting with our students. They are so smart and interesting! We enroll around 90 students in our clinic each year and some of them continue through both their 2L and 3L years, so they become fixtures around the office and a friendly daily reminder of the impact of our work.
Outside of work, I’m enjoying a great new craft beer with friends in the Square or checking out the newest restaurants around Boston. I also love to play basketball, which I luckily get to do here at the HLS gym with fellow staff members.