Notre Dame Law School’s Exoneration Justice Clinic is committed to correcting the miscarriage of justice and investigating, litigating, and overturning wrongful convictions.
The clinic provides law students with 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.
Notre Dame Law Professor Jimmy Gurulé, a former federal prosecutor, is the Exoneration Justice Clinic’s director.
Information for Students
The Exoneration Justice Clinic is a yearlong 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 Adjunct Professor Elliot Slosar, a staff attorney with the Exoneration Project in Chicago. These activities will include visiting the client at the Indiana prison, interviewing prospective witnesses, and making court appearances, among other things.
Students will work on eight cases each year. New cases will be added in the spring of each year by committee as availability allows.