Launched in 2011, the UCLA Law – Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship provides specialized training to top graduates from Southern African law schools for careers as impact-oriented lawyers in the areas of health, human rights, HIV prevention and gender equality. Offering a full-tuition grant to study in UCLA Law's Master of Laws (LL.M.) Program, the fellows undertake in-depth research and coursework related to health and human rights. Some specialize in Public Interest Law and Policy, others in Law and Sexuality, and some take a wide range of courses, including from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health.
Upon completion of the LL.M. degree, fellows have the opportunity to apply for a yearlong paid placement with Sonke Gender Justice Network in South Africa, where they undertake cutting-edge legal research addressing the gender inequality dynamics driving the spread of HIV and in advocacy that engages men and boys as stakeholders in gender equity.
This program has trained attorneys whose work now focuses on human rights, HIV prevention, maternal health, and gender-based violence in Southern Africa. In this way, the fellowship program builds the legal capacity of NGOs in the region and helps foster law reform related to important health and human rights challenges. UCLA School of Law and the Ford Foundation jointly fund this program.