About the Center for Civil and Human Rights

center about
The Center’s mission is to create a nationally-recognized civil and human rights program that enriches the educational experience of students, furthers the common good, and provides significant contributions to the policy and practice of civil and human rights.

The Center pursues its mission through three pillars of excellence: research, education, and community engagement.

The Center provides an institutional framework to promote the work of faculty and its partners in the area of civil and human rights.

The Center:

• Sponsors a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law to teach two courses a year and pursue a scholarly agenda, while assisting with the development of the Center,
• Puts on an annual conference on the pursuit of justice, attracting national and international audiences interested in civil and human rights, including scholars, judges, practitioners, and activists,
• Offers a series of workshops and presentations where faculty from Gonzaga and other institutions share ideas and works-in-progress on topics related to the Center’s goals,
• Hosts an annual speaker series, bringing nationally recognized scholars for public forums regarding civil and human rights.

As an interdisciplinary project, the Center also works with other schools and departments, both within Gonzaga and beyond, to raise awareness about the ways in which the law can promote civil and human rights and serve the public good.

The Center builds on the social justice mission of Gonzaga Law School and emphasizes civil and human rights as an integral component of students’ legal education. Through the Center, students can:

• Become a Carl Maxey Social Justice Scholar and receive full tuition,
• Pursue a Certificate in Civil and Human Rights through courses, clinic and externship opportunities, and extracurricular activities,
• Participate on the Civil Rights Moot Court team,
• Receive a Summer Grant to pursue opportunities with agencies dedicated to social and criminal justice.

The Center also sponsors a jurist-in-residence program, where a distinguished judge or accomplished practitioner teaches a condensed course for credit on a topic related to the Center’s mission.

The Center provides an academic home for several legal clinics at the Law School, and it also sponsors events and programs to engage members of the local, regional, and national community on issues of discrimination, inequality, and injustice. The Center:

  • Houses the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Rights Clinic, the first law clinic of its kind in Washington and one of only a handful in the country. The clinic support those who are marginalized and underserved because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression;
  • Houses the Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic. The clinic provides legal help on family reunification, humanitarian protection, citizenship advocacy, asylum applications, and other matters;
  • Houses the statewide Moderate Means Program. The program provides access to justice to people of “moderate means”: those who make too much to qualify for legal aid but not enough to retain an attorney at market rates;
  • Partners with civil legal aid organizations to provide pro bono opportunities to students in the area of civil and human rights.


Jason Gillmer, J.D., LL.M.

John J. Hemmingson Chair in Civil Liberties and Professor of Law
Director, Center for Civil & Human Rights



Michelle Fukawa, J.D.

Assistant Director, Center for Civil & Humans Rights


Danielle Wingfield-Smith

Danielle Wingfield-Smith, J.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Center for Civil & Human Rights

  • Upendra Acharya, Faculty, Gonzaga Law School
  • Catherine Clark, ’91, Law Office of Catherine Clark
  • Colleen Durkin, ’12, Holman Law
  • Jeff Geldien, Academic Development, Gonzaga University
  • Sarah Guzmán, Alumni Engagement & Strategic Initiatives, Gonzaga Law School
  • James Headley, Faculty, Eastern Washington University
  • Brooks Holland, Faculty, Gonzaga Law School
  • Genevieve Mann, Faculty, Gonzaga Law School
  • Gloria Ochoa-Bruck, Judge, Spokane Municipal Court 
  • Chloe Sykes, Gonzaga Law Student, Class of 2022

The Center for Civil and Human Rights