The Mandel Legal Aid Clinic is proud to welcome an addition to the unique clinical opportunities available to the students at the Law School, The Exoneration Project, which makes it bow this month. Director of Clinical Programs, Randy Schmidt ('79), made the announcement:
"The Exoneration Project will provide representation to client who are asserting their actual innocence in state and federal court. Students in the Project will be involved in all aspects of the case from initial case selection through investigation and litigation. There will be a classroom component that will allow students to learn more about investigation, litigation discovery, post-conviction petitions and other legal work. Students will interact with supervising attorneys and clients on a regular basis, and 3L students will have an opportunity to appear in court.
The supervising lawyers and founders of the Project are from the law firm of Loevy & Loevy, a civil rights firm in Chicago. Tara Thompson, a 2003 graduate of the Law School, and Gayle Horn will be the primary supervising attorneys on this project. Jon Loevy and Russell Ainsworth, attorneys also at the Loevy firm, will also provide some supervision in the Project."
I recently spoke with Law School and Clinic alum, Tara Thompson (who also happens to live in my condo building!), about her thoughts on the Project:
"I'm ecstatic about coming back to the Law School and working with the Exoneration Project. Working in the Clinic (I was fortunate enough to work with Professor Craig Futterman in the Civil Rights & Police Accountability Project) was one of my favorite parts of law school, and where I first learned about communicating with clients, building a case from the ground up, and the importance of using my privileged position as a lawyer to help people who are the most vulnerable to the injustices in our legal system. In the Exoneration Project, students will have an opportunity to investigate and evaluate cases, draft post-conviction petitions and other types of petitions and motions, and appear in court. I and the other lawyers from my firm who will be staffing the Project hope that it will be a great addition to the other wonderful opportunities in the Clinic already available to the students."