Britton Schwartz

Deputy Director, International Human Rights Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Law

Britton Schwartz is the Deputy Director of the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at Santa Clara University School of Law.  With Clinic Director Francisco Rivera, Britton served as the inaugural Clinical Fellow and supervising attorney for IHRC and helped develop the program.  She has taught and worked at the intersection of international human rights law and environmental justice for more than ten years, with expertise in the Inter-American Human Rights System, indigenous peoples’ rights, the rights to water and sanitation, community-driven policy reform, and local implementation of human rights norms.  

Britton has worked extensively on the human right to water and related environmental human rights, beginning with a Berkeley Law Foundation fellowship at the Community Water Center, an environmental justice nonprofit based in California’s Central Valley that partners with marginalized communities to secure access to safe, affordable drinking water.  As co-chair of the U.S. National Coalition on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, Britton supported dozens of community-based groups to advocate before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, various U.N. special procedures, and U.S. federal government agencies.  She also developed a human right to water docket as a Clinical Fellow with UC Berkeley Law’s Environmental Law Clinic while engaging law students in local policy work to promote water affordability and access to water and sanitation for persons experiencing homelessness.  

In various roles, she has partnered with indigenous communities in Central and South America to assess the human rights impact of contamination caused by extractive industries and large-scale agriculture while advocating for the rights of human rights defenders, indigenous self-determination, land demarcation, and the right to free, prior, and informed consent.  She also has experience defending the human right to housing, through her work as an eviction defense litigator serving low-income tenants with the Shriver Housing Project at Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles.

Britton clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and is a member of the California Bar.


J.D. Harvard Law School,  cum laude
M.A., Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
B.A., Columbia University, magna cum laude