Innocence Clinic

This is a part-time, year-long clinic offered for only 6 credits per year.  The clinic is open to day and evening students in their last two (2) years of law school and Accelerated JD students in their last year. Student will receive 3 credits for the clinical seminar component and 3 credits for the experiential case work component. The clinical seminar will meet 2 hours weekly and will include instruction in the relevant substantive law, fundamental lawyering skills and reflective learning. Some portion of the clinical seminar will also be devoted to student supervision and case rounds.

 

Students will be expected to devote a minimum of 6 ½ hours per week to the casework component, corresponding to 3 graded credits per year. Students will work closely with staff and attorneys at the New England Innocence Project (housed at Suffolk University Law School) and with other attorneys handling wrongful conviction matters in the Commonwealth. Students will work under the direct supervision of an Adjunct faculty member. Students will investigate potential cases of wrongful convictions and will report on their investigation findings. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of wrongful convictions and the broader criminal justice system. They will research and investigate cases involving mistaken identity, DNA evidence, forensic science, use of jailhouse informants, ineffective assistance of counsel, and many other issues. Students will have opportunity to develop fact investigation skills, oral and written advocacy skills, client interviewing and counseling skills, and other fundamental lawyering skills. Students in this clinic will also learn valuable and transferrable skills such as motion practice, negotiation, fact investigation, trial and appellate practice, and how to address ethical issues that arise in practice.

 

Prerequisites: Students must have earned a satisfactory grade in Evidence prior to enrolling in this course. Additional prerequisites are: Criminal Procedure and Trial Advocacy. Concurrent enrollment of these prerequisites is option for Accelerated JD students only. Students are required to be certified to practice in Massachusetts via Rule 3:03. Students will also be required to attend the full-day clinical programs orientation in August.