Rachel Elizabeth Lopez
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor & CCR Cooperating Attorney
Rachel López is a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Cooperating Attorney. Her scholarship focuses on methods of accountability for human rights violations, corporate accountability, and transitional justice. She specializes in the litigation of immigration, human rights, and civil rights cases in domestic and international forums. This year, in an exciting new partnership between Seton Hall and CCR, Professor López will supervise law students on cases from CCR’s international human rights docket, including litigation involving the Freedom of Information Act and the Alien Tort Statute. She joined the faculty of Seton Hall Law School in 2010 as a Clinical Teaching Fellow for the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic and the Equal Justice Clinic.
Before joining Seton Hall, Ms. López served as a law clerk for the Honorable Justice Petra Jimenez Maes in the New Mexico Supreme Court. From 2008-2009, she worked at the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York, and its partner, Citizen Governance Initiatives in Cameroon, through the support of fellowships from the University of Texas, School of Law and the American Society of International Law. Her focus was on the advancement of rule of law in West Africa, in particular as it relates to anti-corruption and freedom of information, and developing litigation strategies for holding transnational corporations accountable in U.S. courts for their corrupt practices and human rights abuses.
During law school, Professor López was a Human Rights Scholar and received the Public Interest Graduate Award for her dedication to public interest law. She completed summer fellowships at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. As a student attorney, she represented detainees at Guantánamo Bay, and inmates facing the death penalty in Texas. Prior to law school, she researched indigenous land rights and human rights in Guatémala as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and worked on nationwide anti-poverty initiatives as a Bill Emerson Congressional Hunger Fellow. Professor López received her B.A. in Sociology, Political Science, and International Studies from Northwestern University and her J.D. from the University of Texas, School of Law. She also has an LL.M. in French and European Law from Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne. She is fluent in Spanish and French.