James J. Silk

James J. Silk

Clinical Professor Of Law Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic | Yale Law School

  • Executive Director, Orville H. Schell Jr. Center For International Human Rights

Professor Silk is clinical professor of law at the Yale Law School, where he directs the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. He is also executive director of the Law School’s Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for Human Rights. The Lowenstein Clinic helps students build the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective human rights advocates.

Before starting at Yale Law School in 1999, Silk was director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C. In addition to guiding the Center’s work and leading the Center’s advocacy with the U.S. government and international organizations, he focused on human rights in China, child labor, and corporate responsibility.

He is a founding member of the board of the Fair Labor Association, an organization dedicated to protecting workers’ rights by monitoring global labor practices of participating companies, particularly in the clothing and footwear industries. He also was a founding member of the board of RUGMARK-USA (now GoodWeave), which monitors the production of hand-knotted carpets in South Asia to ensure that no child labor in involved.

He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in humanities from the University of Chicago. He received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1989. Before attending law school, he was editor, policy analyst and senior writer for the U.S. Committee for Refugees.