Photo of Dávila-Ruhaak, Sarah

Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak

Assistant Professor of Law

Director, International Human Rights Clinic


Building & Room:



300 S. State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604

Office Phone:

(312) 427-2737 ext. 153


Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak is Assistant Professor & Co-Founder and Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at The John Marshall Law School, established in 2014. She teaches International Human Rights, Transitional Justice, and lectures on international topics as part of her clinical teaching.

Prior to working at John Marshall, Dávila-Ruhaak was an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she taught international law, international human rights, transitional justice, human rights in the U.S., and criminal law. She also worked as a pro bono attorney with the Institute for Justice & Democracy (IJDH) in Haiti, where she focused on issues relating to the displacement of Haitians in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, the Duvalier prosecution, and sexual violence. Prior to her work with IJDH, she was a litigator at CAMBA Legal Services, an organization in New York City.

She has experience in the domestic and international litigation of human rights cases and has engaged in impact advocacy at the United Nations. She has also been instrumental in the Clinic’s work on behalf of Haitian cholera victims suing the United Nations, immigrant detention conditions and solitary confinement, Inter-American litigation, human trafficking of Puerto Rican victims, and most recently on the creation of the Human Rights for Syrians Initiative.

Dávila-Ruhaak is often invited to speak on the treatment and detention conditions of immigrants and asylum seekers, the rights of older persons, the concept of vulnerability in international law and human rights, and other topics in international and domestic human rights. She regularly represents the Clinic and John Marshall in international and domestic networks of human rights practitioners and scholars.