On May 27, 2021, we said goodbye to Harvard Law School Class of 2021. In lieu of an in-person celebration, graduating students of the International Human Rights Clinic joined clinicians and staff on May 26, 2021 via Zoom to celebrate each other and bid adieu. Read a tribute written by Bonnie Docherty, Associate Director of Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection, below.
’Twas a year after COVID, and to our surprise,
Commencement online, Harvard Law must reprise.
But you should still celebrate your graduation day,
And we are prepared to send you off on your way.
It’s been an odd time with all learning remote,
But your achievements are no less deserving of note.
You’ve been such good sports throughout the pandemic.
You’ve given your heart, soul, and humor to the Human Rights Clinic.
Each week you came to your Clinic Zoom room
To address violence, injustice, and things that go boom.
You survived “trips” to Geneva no matter the hour,
Greeting 4 a.m. meetings without being dour.
You spotlighted weapons and their human cost
Making sure victims’ voices did not get lost.
Incendiaries, nukes, arms trade, robots, EWIPA
For each HD issue you’ve made a tangible difference.
Impunity in Gambia and within the UN,
Through research and law, you sought to end.
After years of hard work, you saw victory,
For Bolivian plaintiffs in the case Mamani.
On the environment front, you fought the good fight,
Showing climate, water, and lead all affect human rights.
And last but not least you examined privacy
And abuses faced by Syrian refugees.
You’ve inspired your peers and your clinicians
With your work, fortitude, and true dedication.
You all should be proud of what you have done,
The people you’ve helped, the respect you have won.
We’ll miss you but know great things you will do,
Whatever area of the law you decide to pursue.
Congrats and best wishes to HLS ’21.
Keep in touch and come back to see us in person!