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World Travel Inspired Incoming 3L Claire Bushorn to Focus on Human Rights

Claire BushornA strong interest in international mixed with the genuine enjoyment from helping others marks incoming 3L Claire Bushorn. Not the run-of-the-mill student, she has spent significant time traveling and exploring around the world—Japan, West Africa, France—taking in the culture and learning about the challenges faced by those less fortunate. Her experiences inspired her to focus on international human rights as a career, which led her to UC Law and the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. 

It all goes back to high school

Bushorn, took advantage of an opportunity many high school students do. She joined the foreign exchange program and lived in France for a year. There, she attended a French private school and became totally immersed in the language. Then, during her sophomore year of college she traveled to Senegal, West Africa, taking classes in African politics and French, becoming fluent in the language. She also traveled to Tokyo, Japan. These experiences fueled her decision to major in International Studies, while her interest in human rights began to grow.

Following graduation from college, Bushorn took a year off from academic study to work for Americorps in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I worked at a refugee resettlement office and was really inspired,” she explained. Bushorn taught adult English to refugees who had fled their country to settle in the United States. After this experience, she determined to continue her education to equip herself to work in international human rights. This decision led her to apply to UC Law.

Human Rights at UC Law

Bushorn has been very involved since enrolling at UC Law. During the 2008-2009 academic year, she served as an Articles Editor for the world-renowned Human Rights Quarterly. She is slated to become a Senior Articles Editor during her third year. She is also a contributing member of the Immigration and Nationality Law Review. When she’s not writing or editing, Bushorn works as a graduate assistant in the university’s Judicial Affairs office, administering personal accountability workshops for students.

Law school has enabled Bushorn to explore her interests in human rights. She has also found an interest in several other areas, including classes in Feminist Jurisprudence and International Law.

Finding Fulfilling Work in Human Rights

Following her first year of law school, Bushorn worked in Washington D.C. at the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights tackling issues of corporate social responsibility. (The RFK Center provides support to human rights defenders around the world. It assists advocates who have won the RFK Human Rights Award to confront injustices such as modern day slavery in United States, agricultural fields, torture in Darfur, and the devastation along the hurricane battered Gulf Coast.  Each year the RFK Center honors investigative journalists and authors who bring light to injustice through the RFK Book and Journalism Awards. In addition, with the Speak Truth to Power program, the RFK Center educates students worldwide about human rights, the courage of its defenders and the power of individual action.)

Bushorn plans to return to D.C. this summer to work at a small branch of a law firm and continue her work with corporate social responsibility. The firm’s objective is to bring suit against large corporations for complicity and human rights abuses. After graduation, she hopes to return to the capital to find permanent work in the human rights area. 

What free time?

One of the benefits of living in Washington D.C. is being able to walk everywhere in the city, says Bushorn. She enjoys that along with visiting the Eastern Market. In addition, she admits to having found a guilty pleasure in the television shows LOST and Dexter, accompanied by her cat Romeo. Best of all, she still enjoys traveling and looks forward to more in the future.