Exoneration Justice Clinic
Director: Jimmy Gurulé
The Exoneration Justice Clinic is committed to correcting the miscarriage of justice and investigating, litigating, and overturning wrongful convictions. The clinic provides law students real-world lawyering experience representing clients who were wrongfully convicted. By working in the clinic students also gain invaluable insight into the criminal justice system.
The Exoneration Justice Clinic provides clients who are exonerated access to a network of social support services, such as education and vocational training, transitional housing, and health care services, including mental health counseling, and other support programs. Access to a network of social services will assist the client in successfully reintegrating into society.
- Nikolai Stieglitz ’21 J.D. named Exoneration Justice Clinic’s first postgraduate fellow (May 6, 2021)
- Indiana Court of Appeals affirms decision in Elkhart man’s wrongful conviction case (April 13, 2021)
- Wrongful Convictions: ND Law students pursue exoneration cases in nearby Elkhart (December 15, 2020)
- “Proving Innocence” podcast: Students and faculty work to overturn wrongful convictions (December 15, 2020)
- Man released from prison after 16 years, thanks to help from Exoneration Project and ND Law (April 24, 2020)
- ND Law students help Exoneration Project free Illinois man (April 12, 2019)
Information for students
The Exoneration Justice Clinic is a year-long program. During the fall semester, students are required to attend a weekly classroom component conducted by the clinical director. In the academic component, students discuss the causes of wrongful convictions, the relevant law that applies in this context, and application of the causes of wrongful convictions to their assigned cases. At the weekly meetings, students will also discuss the status of their wrongful conviction cases and any additional investigation required.
During the fall and spring semester, the students will also participate in the fieldwork component of the clinic, which will be supervised by Elliot Slosar, a staff attorney with the Exoneration Project in Chicago, Illinois, and adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School. These activities will include visiting the client at the Indiana prison, interviewing prospective witnesses, and making court appearances, among other things. Students will also work with the clinic director, Professor Jimmy Gurulé, and a clinic staff attorney.
Information about the clinic caseload
Students will work on eight cases each year. New cases will be added in the spring of each year by committee as availability allows.