Help those who may have been wrongfully convicted.

While our criminal justice system strives for accuracy, when it comes to the determinations of guilt or innocence, it is not perfect, and it will never be perfect. Humans are fallible and the system makes mistakes that are inherent in all of humankind’s work. In the past decade, DNA evidence has been used to exonerate numerous wrongfully convicted individuals and has served to highlight many other unreliable aspects of our justice system, including issues involving junk science, the unreliability of eyewitness identifications, improperly suggestive identification methods, and coercive interrogation techniques. The Wrongful Convictions Practicum offers students a rewarding and fulfilling opportunity to help individuals who claim an unjust result after either a trial or guilty plea, and who need assistance from the legal community in investigating and developing their claims for presentation in the courts.

Students in the Practicum will engage in activities that include the following:

  • Screening prisoners’ applications and reviewing attorneys’ files, pleadings, transcripts, and judicial decisions in the case.
  • Identifying and researching potential areas of investigation including forensic testing and witness investigation that may result in the discovery of exculpatory information or exonerative evidence.
  • Exploring issues including jury contamination, Fourth Amendment violations, mental health, and constitutional limits on sentencing.
  • Conducting legal research and analyzing the legal requirements for obtaining a new trial, and learning about the mechanics and strategies associated with motions for post-conviction relief in the state and federal courts.


This is designed as a one-semester Practicum offering two graded credits. Students can expect to meet in a weekly seminar and conduct fieldwork into wrongful convictions cases.

Faculty & Additional Information

Questions regarding the Practicum can be directed to Ira Gant at