Asked & Answered: Ivania Galeano, LL.M. ’21
Ivania Galeano, LL.M. ’21, who came to Minnesota Law as a Fulbright scholar in 2020, works at the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in her native Honduras. She recently spoke with us about her experience in the Twin Cities and in our LL.M. program.
Please briefly describe your work with the U.N.
My work in Honduras has centered on promoting the respect of human rights for vulnerable groups—particularly women ́s and indigenous peoples’ rights—along with supporting human rights defenders and promoting accountability for human rights violations. I ́ve been fortunate to work with civil society organizations, governmental institutions, and international organizations.
What makes you so passionate about human rights?
I think because human rights protection has been, and still is, a major issue of concern in my country, and this influenced what I wanted my law career to be about. In 2009, after I had finished law school, a coup d'etat took place in Honduras, which enabled serious human rights violations that have continued to unfold to present day.
Why did you pick Minnesota law as the place to get your LL.M.?
Because of its solid academic program, its faculty, the diversity of concentrations, and the Twin Cities. Also, the fact that it had practical experiences for international students to engage with.
Minnesota law seeks to instill the value of lawyer leadership. What does lawyer leadership mean to you?
Lawyer-leadership means putting the skills that the legal profession offers into the service and well-being of your community. My time at Minnesota Law enabled me to see the role of lawyer-leaders in special difficult times, like the one the city has faced around race issues this last year. I expect to be able to continue to support the collective efforts of civil society organizations in my country, with new tools the LL.M. and the Fulbright experience provided me, working to improve the human rights situation.
How did you enjoy your time in the twin cities?
I was struck by the natural beauty of the Twin Cities. I was lucky to be able to enjoy winter activities like cross-country skiing (a first for me), along with the spring and fall activities like park and lake visits and getting together safely outside. I will have to come back for summer!
Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my experience and thanks to my fellow LL.M. classmates, the International Program Team, and professors for making this a very enriching and unforgettable experience.