Ryan Thoreson

Clinical Lecturer in Law, Associate Research Scholar in Law, and Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights


Ryan Thoreson is a Clinical Lecturer in Law, Associate Research Scholar in Law, and Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School. He is also a researcher with Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Program in New York City, where he was a Bernstein Human Rights Fellow from 2015-2017. 

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Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Yale Law School, 2014
D.Phil., Oxford University, 2012
M.Phil., Oxford University, 2009
A.B., Harvard University, 2007

Courses Taught


Ryan Thoreson is a Clinical Lecturer in Law, Associate Research Scholar in Law, and Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School. He is also a researcher with Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Program in New York City, where he was a Bernstein Human Rights Fellow from 2015-2017. Thoreson's work focuses on LGBT children’s rights and LGBT rights in the United States, with a particular focus on transgender equality, access to housing and intimate partner violence services, and discriminatory exemptions in counseling, adoption and foster care, and public accommodations. Previously, Thoreson clerked for the Honorable Scott M. Matheson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has also worked with a number of LGBT NGOs in the United States and abroad, including the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Brussels, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in Boston, and OutRight Action International in New York and Cape Town. He is the author of Transnational LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide, published in 2014 by the University of Minnesota Press. While at the Law School, Thoreson was a member of the Lowenstein Clinic and served as an Executive Editor on the Yale Law Journal and Managing Editor on the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Thoreson earned a D.Phil. in Anthropology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, in 2012, and an A.B. in Government and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality from Harvard in 2007.