Course Details

Clinic Practice: Wrongful Convictions and Juvenile Justice

Students who enroll in the Center on Wrongful Convictions will participate in our trifold mission of representation, education, and reform on a national scale. Students will partner with faculty and, in many cases, Northwestern alumni from national firms to represent imprisoned clients who were convicted of serious crimes and have compelling claims of innocence and/or major constitutional violations. Our clients' cases unfold at both the state and federal level before tribunals ranging from clemency boards to state trial courts to the federal courts of appeal and, on occasion, the U.S. Supreme Court. Students' case work may include visiting and counseling incarcerated clients, interviewing witnesses and other field investigation, conducting legal or forensic science research, and drafting court documents. Qualifying students may appear in court as permitted by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711. Students may also participate in the writing of briefs as amicus curiae in high-level appellate cases across the country. With respect to education, outreach, and reform, interested students will participate in the CWC's strategic reform and policy work. Examples of past student engagement around reform and policy include the creation of reports and/or presentations concerning access to justice and/or needed systemic reforms; working with media outlets to engage public audiences in the urgency of national criminal justice reform work; and co-authoring, with CWC faculty, publications exploring failures in law and practice that too often permit wrongful convictions to go unredressed. This course emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and strategic thinking. Students typically work in groups of two or more and meet weekly outside of class on individual cases or projects.

Catalog Number: LITARB 704
Practice Areas: Administrative Law & GovtCivil Lit. and Dispute ResolutionConstitutional LawCriminal Law Practice AreaLegal Skills Development
Additional Course Information: Experiential Learning

Course History

Spring 2020
Title: Clinic Practice: Wrongful Convictions and Juvenile Justice
Section: X1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 28     Actual: 0