Innocence Project Clinic (YR)
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.
*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.
**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.