Kevin Murphy ’14 J.D. joins Exoneration Justice Clinic as first staff attorney

Author: Amanda Gray

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Notre Dame Law School’s Exoneration Justice Clinic has hired its first staff attorney, Notre Dame Law School alumnus and former Jenner & Block litigator Kevin Murphy ’14 J.D.

The Exoneration Justice Clinic, which launched in fall 2020, is committed to correcting miscarriages of justice by investigating, litigating, and overturning wrongful convictions. The clinic provides students with real-world opportunities to represent clients who have been wrongfully convicted. As staff attorney, Murphy will help lead the clinic’s efforts to investigate and litigate wrongful conviction cases and oversee the work of its students.  

Murphy returns to Notre Dame after working for five and a half years as an attorney at Jenner & Block in Chicago, where he was an associate in the firm’s litigation department.

While at Jenner, Murphy also maintained an active pro bono practice that focused on representing wrongfully convicted individuals and criminal defendants. In 2017, he was part of a pro bono victory in Illinois that freed Patrick Pursley from prison after 23 years based on new ballistics evidence that proved his firearm could not have been used in the murder for which he was convicted.

Murphy graduated from the Law School summa cum laude and served as the executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. After graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Paul J. Kelly Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit before starting at Jenner.

“Working with Notre Dame Law School’s extraordinary students to help seek justice for those who have been wrongfully convicted is nothing short of a dream for me,” Murphy said. “The Exoneration Justice Clinic fits so perfectly in the University’s mission, and I am very excited to be on board.”

Professor Jimmy Gurulé, a former federal prosecutor, serves as director of the Exoneration Justice Clinic. He said Murphy is an important addition to the clinic and its work.

“Kevin is an outstanding lawyer with a passion for justice,” Gurulé said. “He is an invaluable addition to the Exoneration Justice Clinic team.”

In addition to the new staff attorney position, the Exoneration Justice Clinic recently hired its first postgraduate fellow, Nikolai Stieglitz ’21 J.D. The fellowship covers salary and benefits for a recent Notre Dame Law graduate to work at the clinic full time for two years.

Notre Dame Law students have already won some victories in exoneration cases, too. The University of Notre Dame highlighted the students’ work with a feature story and podcast series in December 2020.

To support the important work of the Exoneration Justice Clinic, please click here to donate: giving.nd.edu/EJC

Originally published by Amanda Gray at law.nd.edu on June 14, 2021.