Innocence Project Clinic (YR)

Information Introduction

LAW8628
Section 1, Fall 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 14/14
Credits: 4
Days Time Room Start Date End Date

Mon

1130-1330 WB121

Course Description

Students in this year-long clinic will investigate and litigate wrongful convictions of inmates throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Some of the cases will have forensic evidence (usually DNA) that could be tested, and some will be non-DNA cases. Preliminary cases will be assigned to individual clinic students for factual development and evaluation to determine whether or not the clinic should accept the case. The decision to accept or decline representation will be discussed and vetted with the full clinic and the final decision will be made by your Professors. Students work in teams of 3-4 to investigate and litigate on cases that the clinic accepts for representation.. In every case, students will be directed and assisted by the clinic Professor, but as students demonstrate competence and confidence, they may earn the opportunity for greater independence. Although the clinic will have a classroom component, most time will be devoted to casework – interviewing potential clients and witnesses, general investigation, reviewing case files, collecting records, searching court files, and drafting pleadings. Students will likely be visiting inmates at correctional centers, and conducting investigation in a wide variety of socioeconomic settings accompanied by the clinic Professors, a private investigator, or, in some instances, another student.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Written Work Product

Writing pertaining to interviewing potential clients and witnesses, general investigation, reviewing case files, collecting records, searching court files, developing and implementing litigation strategies, and more.

Other Work

Interviewing potential clients and witnesses, general investigation, reviewing case files, collecting records, searching court files, developing and implementing litigation strategies, etc.

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: Criminal Procedure and Evidence recommended, but not required. Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: Yes

Course Resources: To be announced.

Course Notes: Enrollment in this clinic is done through an application process in mid-June administered by the instructors and the Director of Clinics, Prof. Sarah Shalf. The application process will be announced by Prof. Shalf. The professors will notify Student Records of which students accept offers to join the clinic, and Student Records will enroll those students in the course prior to the enrollment lottery for fall classes. Students should attempt to arrange their schedules to have at least one full weekday free for investigations.. Some weekend and evening investigations will also be required. In addition, student teams will meet regularly with Professors Givens and Hatchett for supervision and direction. Interested students should anticipate that the clinic will require a minimum of 15 hours per week and you will be expected to record your time on clinic timesheets. The hours required for clinic work will vary according to the demands of the cases. The professor will not always be able to predict or control when the cases will demand intensive hours, so flexibility is important. NOTE REGARDING CREDITS: Of the eight credits awarded for this clinic, four will receive a Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) grade at the conclusion of the fall semester, and four will receive a grade of Honors (H), Pass (P) or Fail (F) at the conclusion of the spring semester. In accordance with Academic Policy, S,U, H and P grades do not earn grading points, so they do not contribute to a student's grade point average (GPA).

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: Yes

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 123819739

Modified Type: Clinical (Excl.)

Cross Listed: No

Waitlist Count: 0

Concentrations: Criminal Justice , Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Tuesday, June 18, 2024 - 9:26 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.