Seattle University Law School is helping to shape the next generation of legal advocates through the school’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC), directed by law professor Thomas Antkowiak. Antkowiak’s past work includes overseeing a “socket of IHRC cases involving torture, wrongful conviction, arbitrary detention and protection of industrial lands.” Most recently IHRC helped to free Nestora Salgado-Gracia in the highly publicized case. Salgado is a grandmother with ties to Renton, Washington “who had been arbitrarily imprisoned in Mexico for three years while being denied due process. Salgado was arrested in 2013 after leading a legally permitted indigenous police force to defend local residents against drug cartels in her hometown of Olinala, Mexico.” Salgado praised Antkowiak during her visit to thank IHRC for helping her to win her freedom, as well as being her support and back-up for her case.
Antkowiak’s students also expressed similar praise as expressed by Salgado. Law students reported that working and learning in IHRC allowed for a clinical experience that offered opportunities for critical work that has incredible social value. Antkowiak said that serving as IHRC director is “his dream job, one that combines three of his professional passions-working on cases he cares about, engaging with students and conducting research. Seattle U’s Jesuit Catholic mission offers fertile ground for each of these efforts.”
To read more about IHRC and Antkowiak, visit Seattle news.