Innocence Project

Credit: 4 credits

Number of Positions: 2-6 
Fall or Spring Semester: 14 hours/week for 13 weeks
Summer Semester: 18 hours/week for 10 weeks

Students review prisoner requests and obtain and summarize scientific evidence. The major portion of time is spent analyzing and summarizing trial transcripts and recommending project action on assigned cases. Students may also draft motions that seek the testing of evidence and, if appropriate, the release of wrongly incarcerated inmates in Florida. Students work closely with project attorneys to create and implement a strategy for one or two primary assigned cases.

Important instruction is provided on a mandatory orientation day at the Innocence Project offices, generally the Saturday before the semester begins. There are approximately 15 total hours of seminars during the semester, conducted by the project director, other attorneys and investigators. Other seminars take place at the project office at 1 p.m. on some Fridays. Students must reserve these times and days to attend the seminars. Another meeting time/day may be arranged after the term begins, if convenient for the entire group and the project director. Seminar time at the site counts toward required hours/week.

Students should be interested in innocence exonerations and committed to the purposes of the project. Students will submit a weekly summary journal of their work to the supervising faculty member, and provide monthly reports and evaluations of their experience. There may also be a short, experiential paper toward the end of the semester.

Requirements: Must have completed at least two full semesters and have 29 law school credits before beginning this externship. Evidence is not required but is recommended as a prerequisite or co-requisite.

Certification: Students are not certified pursuant to the Student Practice Rule.

Objectives and Methods