May 12, 2017

Paul Hoffman, expert in constitutional and civil rights litigation, to teach in the Clinic this fall semester

Posted by Susan Farbstein and Tyler Giannini


We are extremely pleased to announce that a human rights advocate we have long admired, and worked alongside, will join us at the International Human Rights Clinic for the fall semester. Paul Hoffman, an expert in constitutional and civil rights litigation, will teach the Clinic’s Human Rights Advocacy seminar, as well as supervise students on several clinical projects.

Paul-Hoffman-218x300Paul has been an incredible mentor to each of us, in terms of his knowledge of the law, his ability to think creatively and strategically, and the passion and love he brings to his work. He is, without a doubt, the leading Alien Tort Statute (ATS) litigator in the country, and yet he carries that distinction with so much humility and openness to others.

The Clinic has worked closely with him on several recent ATS cases, including the In-Re South African Apartheid litigation and Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co, which Paul argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. We also collaborated on two other landmark cases, Unocal and Wiwa, both of which resulted in settlements. Paul also argued the first major ATS case, Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, before the Supreme Court.

Currently Paul is a partner at Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP, where he focuses on constitutional and civil rights litigation, and general business litigation, also specializing in civil and criminal appeals. In addition to his law practice, he co-directs the International Human Rights Clinic at University of California Irvine Law School.

For decades now, Paul has also volunteered with the ACLU of Southern California, litigating cases ranging from First Amendment rights to criminal law and procedure, the rights of persons with disabilities to race and sex discrimination, voting rights to freedom of information and privacy. He served as legal director of the ACLU of Southern California for a decade, and has also served twice as chair of the board of Amnesty International USA.

It will be nothing short of an honor to welcome him to the Clinic this fall.

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