Students assist life-sentenced, potentially innocent incarcerated clients with investigating and litigating applications for postconviction DNA testing. Students study the causes of wrongful convictions that include mistaken identification, false confessions, racial bias, problematic forensic evidence, perjury, and police/prosecutorial misconduct. Student case work includes investigating claims of innocence, searching for evidence to be DNA tested, and litigating post-conviction petitions under intensive faculty supervision. Students learn the essential lawyering skills of fact investigation, client interviewing and counseling, legal research, document and evidence review, and drafting pleadings and motions, and written and oral advocacy.
This course is limited to 3L students who have successfully completed four semesters of law school and The Legal Profession (LAW 5721). Students will be certified as student attorneys under Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XX.
Students receive 3 academic credits for successful completion of the Wrongful Conviction Clinic. All 3 credits qualify toward the 6 experiential credits required for graduation.