What do students do in this clinic?
Screen and investigate claims of wrongful conviction on behalf of the Innocence Project of Minnesota; gather, review, and summarize documents; develop an investigation plan; locate and preserve physical evidence; locate and interview potential witnesses; and develop familiarity with areas of forensic expertise.
What happens in the classroom component?
Lectures on criminal process, common causes of wrongful convictions, habeas corpus law, and ethics; practice interviewing and memo writing based on hypothetical facts; and updating and strategizing ongoing case investigations.
What do students learn in this clinic?
An in-depth view of the criminal justice system and postconviction process; how to organize and summarize information from documents for the purpose of complex civil litigation; internet research; client and witness interviewing; and legal research and writing.
When is this clinic offered?
This is a two-semester clinic that begins in the fall each year.
How many credits?
Six total credits (three in the fall and three in the spring)
Are students permitted or encouraged to take this clinic for additional semesters?
Students are required to take the clinic for two semesters and in rare cases may continue for additional semesters with the consent of the instructor.
Are there any required or recommended pre-requisites?
Professional Responsibility (which can be taken in the fall, concurrently with the clinic)
Can students with full-time jobs take this clinic?
In addition to the weekly classroom component, students need to be available for a weekend clinic retreat held in the first weekend after Labor Day each year. Students also need the flexibility to pursue investigation (including reviewing courthouse records onsite or interviewing attorneys) during weekday business hours.
Can students who live outside the Twin Cities take this clinic?
Students must be available to conduct investigations onsite in Minnesota, South Dakota, or North Dakota.
Who should take this clinic?
Students with an interest in pursuing a career in criminal justice (prosecution or defense) and students who want experience with complex investigation and civil litigation.