About the Center

The Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights was established at Yale Law School in 1989 to honor Orville Schell, a distinguished New York City lawyer and partner at Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, who was vice chairman of Helsinki Watch and chairman of Americas Watch from its founding in 1981 until his death in 1987.

The Schell Center offers law students and graduates diverse opportunities to apply the lessons they are learning in the classroom to further the cause of human rights and to examine human rights practice critically. It also brings critical human rights discussion to the wider university community. At the same time, it provides a forum for international human rights practitioners to consider the theoretical issues their work entails and for scholars studying human rights to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue. In addressing these needs, the Schell Center seeks to increase knowledge and understanding of international human rights issues; to equip lawyers and other professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to advance the cause of international human rights; and to assist human rights organizations.

The Schell Center coordinates a diverse program of human rights activities that serve students and scholars at Yale and contribute to the development of the human rights community locally and internationally.  The Center:

  • Sponsors frequent panels, lectures, and conferences, including the weekly Human Rights Workshop: Current Issues and Events;
  • Promotes activism through summer and post-graduate fellowships;
  • Sponsors visiting human rights scholars and practitioners;
  • Acts as a liaison between the Law School and the human rights community;
  • Advises students about human rights research and about job and career opportunities;
  • Fosters human rights activities throughout Yale University.


Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights
Yale Law School
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215