Criminal Litigation Clinic: Pennsylvania Innocence Project
Spring 2023 • Section S21
• CRN 27472
This clinical program offers students the unique opportunity to exercise their lawyering skills by reviewing and investigating claims of innocence on behalf of Pennsylvania prisoners. Each student will be assigned cases under the supervision Project attorneys. In the course of investigating factual claims and researching legal issues, students may review criminal files, interact with investigators, contact other attorneys, interview the client and witnesses, gather documentation, and prepare legal documents and memoranda. Students may have the opportunity to observe court appearances and visit Pennsylvania prisons. As a consequence of this work, students will have many opportunities to develop and hone their lawyering skills in interviewing, fact investigation, factual and legal analysis, legal writing, and problem-solving. The classroom component will cover topics including the key contributing factors to wrongful convictions, the state and federal legal framework for litigating innocence cases, investigative techniques and skills, the nature and uses of DNA and other scientific evidence, and re-entry challenges for exonerated individuals. As the semester progresses, students will explore the substantive and procedural issues in the context of the actual cases on which they are working as well as discuss the ethical issues common to this areas of practice.
|W 11:00 AM-1:00 PM||TBA||Weekly Seminars at TUCC|
Additional Time Requirements
Students meet at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project office on Wednesdays each week, and are responsible to the Project for the FULL DAY ON WEDNESDAYS. The first two weeks are full day trainings after which there are weekly check-ins on cases and hour-long presentations on various legal issues related to innocence work. Students must complete a minimum of 10 hours each week of the semester of experiential work, classroom learning, or out of class assignments.
Note: students must be available for a weekly seminar at TUCC from 11am-1pm on Wednesdays. Students are encouraged to be available for the full day on Wednesdays to work on their cases at the PAIP office.
No book purchases are required or recommended for this course.