Legal Education in the Age of Innocence: Integrating Wrongful Conviction Advocacy into the Legal Writing Curriculum
Stephanie Roberts Hartung
Suffolk University Law School
September 4, 2012
Boston University Public Interest Law Journal, Forthcoming
Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 12-33
Law students today are being educated in the age of innocence. Thanks in large part to the pioneering work of the Innocence Project, public perception of the American criminal justice system has changed dramatically over the last two decades, and wrongful convictions have become an undeniable fact. While law students have played a critical role in the innocence movement, primarily by participation in law school clinics, there are untapped opportunities to expand student involvement in wrongful conviction advocacy. This article reviews the existing models of teaching wrongful conviction advocacy in the law school curriculum and discusses a new model taught at Suffolk University Law School. The benefits of this upper-level writing seminar which partners with the New England Innocence Project closely parallel the recommendations of the MacCrate and Carnegie Reports, while capitalizing on student enthusiasm and motivation. This article details the course content, learning objectives, and assignments used in this seminar, in order to provide a model which can be replicated at other law schools.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 5, 2012
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