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Sapphire Diamant-Rink '11: Life on Reservation Leads to Human Rights Focus

Like her classmate Sarah Welcome, Sapphire Diamant-Rink ‘11 was drawn to UC Law because of the opportunity to work closely with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. Originally from East Glacier Park, a small town in Montana on the eastern border of Glacier National Park, she grew up on the nearby Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Reservation life is the root of her interest in human rights. “Human rights issues abound on the reservation,” she said, “and they need to be addressed.”

As a result, Diamant-Rink found herself moving to Cincinnati to attend law school. Her goal was to work with the Urban Morgan Institute to be able to “understand and apply the law in support of human rights.” Before law school, however, Diamant-Rink attended the University of Montana in Missoula, where she graduated with a degree in History in 2007. At school she focused on world and European history, mixed with some music and anthropology.

These very diverse interests have carried over into her studies in law school. Although she has only taken the required 1L courses thus far, she intends to study “anything related to international law, human rights, indigenous rights, women’s rights, and constitutional law.” All of this is with the eventual goal of working for the state department after graduation. By the way, she is considering returning to school for an LLM and studying the confluence of indigenous rights and traditions with modern legal systems!

Botswana Calls!

Through her experiences with the Urban Morgan Institute, Diamant-Rink found herself on her way to Botswana for the summer. She too clerked for the High Court and worked with Judge David Newman. Her experiences were broad, including observing court proceedings, conducting research, and writing drafts of court judgments. “Judge Newman allowed me to pursue my interest in the customary law of Bostwana, as well,” she said, “which I found fascinating.” The whole experience provided her with the chance to work on many different areas of law, including privacy, murder, defamation, estates and property issues, employment issues, appeals, and many others. She also had the opportunity to travel with Welcome to Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa. In particular, she very much enjoyed Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, and Capetown.

Now back in the States and heading into a second year of law school, Diamant-Rink is excited about the opportunity to take classes of more specific interest to her and to continue to participate in many of the activities she was involved with last year. This year she is the co-chair of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and a second year representative for the Law Democrats. Diamant-Rink will also stay involved with the Urban Morgan Institute; last year she worked as a cite checker for Human Rights Quarterly, and this year she will be an articles editor. She is also going to be an associate member of the Immigration and Nationality Law Review.
Not one to sit still very long, Diamant-Rink is looking to find a choir she can be involved in. During her time at the University of Montana, she studied abroad in Vienna, Austria. As part of that experience she was able to tour Eastern Europe while performing with the University’s Chamber Chorale. “I really miss the experience of being part of a choir,” she smiled.

Author: Lindsay Mather, '11