Headshot of Nicole Phillips

Nicole Phillips

Adjunct Professor of Law


Nicole Phillips co-teaches Human Rights and Rule of Law in Haiti as part of the Hastings to Haiti Partnership and Haiti Justice Initiative.

Nicole is also a law professor at the Université de la Foundation Dr. Aristide (UNIFA) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a Haiti Analyst for Freedom House and a Legal Advisor on numerous legal cases in the United States involving human rights abused commited in Haiti.  She has been certified an expert witness on Haiti in over a dozen U.S. immigration cases.  Nicole regularly provides legal analysis of on politics, earthquake reconstruction and gender disparity in Haiti to international media, including appearances with: CNN, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Company, Al Jazeera, KPFA, NPR, PRI, Radio France International, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Newsweek Magazine, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Associated Press, and Reuters. Nicole has appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and several United Nations human rights bodies on a variety of issues.

Nicole was a Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) from 2010 to 2018, where she worked in Haiti with their sister organization, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), providing legal strategy on many of Haiti’s high-profile human rights legal cases.  Prior to joining IJDH, Nicole spent ten years with Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld in Oakland, California, where she served as general counsel to labor unions and employee benefit trust funds across the country, arbitrated collective bargaining disputes, and managed a caseload in federal and state courts involving labor, employment, health, and environmental regulations.

Nicole has authored several academic publications, human rights reports, and editorial pieces, including Judicial Corruption in Haiti: The Need for Discipline and Civil Society Participation, 39 Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 1, 183 (2015), co-authored with Mario Joseph; Comparative Perspectives on Gender Violence: Lessons from Efforts Worldwide (Rashmi Goel and Leigh Goodmark eds. 2015), authored Chapter 4, The vital role of grassroots movements in combatting sexual violence and intimate partner abuse in Haiti; Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake (Kumarian Press, 2012), co-authored Chapter 9, Rights and Public Health; A Rights-Based Approach to Lawyering: Legal Empowerment as an Alternative to Legal Aid in Post-Disaster Haiti, 10 Nw. U. J. Int’l Hum. Rts. 7 (2011), co-authored with Meena Jagannath and Jeena Shah; Enforcing Remedies from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: Forced Evictions and Post-Earthquake Haiti, 19 No. 1 Hum. Rts. Brief 13 (2011), co-authored with Kathleen Bergin, Jennifer Goldsmith and Laura Carr; No cheerleading for Martelly, Miami Herald Tribune, Jan. 21, 2015; Reinstatement of criminal case against Duvalier momentous victory for Haitians, Boston Haitian Reporter, March 2014;  Facing man-made disaster in Haiti: Failed policies leave people with few options, Houston Chronicle, November 8, 2010; and Members of Congress are right to urge changes to Haiti’s flawed electoral process, The Hill, October 11, 2010.

Nicole graduated from the University of California, San Diego and the University of San Francisco School of Law. She completed the Mindfulness Lawyers Teacher Training program in 2016.


  • Hastings to Haiti
  • Human Rights and Rule of Law in Haiti