Nicole Barrett, B.A. (Stanford University); M.I.A., cum laude (School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University); J.D., cum laude (Columbia Law School, Columbia University) is the former Executive Director of the Allard Prize Initiatives and Director of the International Justice and Human Rights Clinic at Allard School of Law. She was previously a Trial Lawyer and a Legal Officer for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague and a Senior Scholar in Residence at New York University Law School’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, where she directed clinical projects with international criminal courts and tribunals. From 2013-2014, Nicole was a member of the National Task Force on the Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada convened by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has directed major projects on human trafficking prevention for the Canadian government and has presented on human trafficking, international criminal law, human rights and corruption in international fora. Nicole has testified before government ministers and international human rights bodies on gender discrimination and anti-human trafficking laws and practices in many countries.
Before moving to Vancouver in 2009, Nicole served as an international humanitarian law advisor for the defense of several Guantanamo detainees and monitored military commissions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Human Rights First. She began practicing law at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City in 2003, where she specialized in complex criminal litigation and was a member of the Human Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association. From 2001-2003, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Gerard E. Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (then U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) and the Honorable John T. Noonan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Nicole was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar at Columbia Law School and Articles Editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. She received an Honors certificate from Columbia University's Harriman Institute for her graduate work on Eastern Europe and human rights. Before law school, Nicole directed programs to promote democratic reform in Eastern Europe for the Soros Foundations in both Prague and New York City.
Maria Sokolova is the Junior Supervising Lawyer at the IJHR Clinic. She holds a JD from UBC, a Licentiate in Civil Law from the University of Ottawa and a Masters of Law from Harvard University, where she completed the international human rights concentration. Maria has worked and volunteered with several human rights organizations and has experience with both international and domestic human rights cases. She recently spent time with a human rights organization in South Africa through a Canadian Bar Association internship.
Maria has also worked and volunteered with a number of non-profit organizations focused on domestic public interest law issues including the Legal Services Society of BC, Access Pro Bono and UBC’s LSLAP. She is a practicing lawyer with extensive expertise in migration and refugee issues and has worked as counsel on refugee cases at all court levels, including before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Maria has previously worked as a research officer/clerk at the BC Supreme Court and the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal, where she lead a project to create the Court’s Legal Assistance Clinic for self-represented litigants. She has also been a member of a local community theatre for more than 20 years.