James J. Silk

Binger Clinical Professor of Human Rights; Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights

J.D., Yale Law School, 1989

M.A., University of Chicago, 1981

A.B., University of Michigan, 1969

Courses Taught
  • Human Rights Workshop
  • Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic
James J. Silk

James J. Silk is the Binger Clinical Professor of Human Rights at Yale Law School, where he is also director of the Law School’s Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. He founded and directs the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights in Yale College. In the 2016-2017 academic year, he initiated and directed JUNCTURE: Explorations in Art and Human Rights, a year-long program of collaborations with artists; a multidisciplinary graduate seminar; fellowships for Yale School of Art MFA students; a public lecture series; and a symposium. He was formerly the director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C. After completing law school, he was an attorney at the Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter, where his pro bono work included representing a Virginia death-row inmate in his appeals. Before attending law school, Professor Silk taught English in Shanghai, China, for a year and then was editor, policy analyst, and senior writer for the U.S. Committee for Refugees. Professor Silk has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from Yale.