Jamie Lau is a clinical professor of law, supervising attorney for the Wrongful Convictions Clinic, deputy director of the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility, and faculty adviser to the Innocence Project. Lau co-teaches a seminar on Wrongful Conviction and pre-trial criminal litigation. Lau’s law practice includes representing incarcerated people asserting innocence in state and federal court. He has played a role in several exonerations, including the exoneration of Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic Client Ronnie Long. Mr. Long was exonerated in August 2020 after more than 43 years of wrongful incarceration. Recently, Lau started the law school’s Clemency Project, which seeks second chances for incarcerated people who have demonstrated their rehabilitation. In 2022, the Project successfully petitioned North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for a commutation on behalf of Anthony Willis. Willis was incarcerated at the age of 16 and had served 25 years in prison.
Previously, Lau worked for the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, where he investigated post-conviction claims of innocence. There, he was lead investigator in the case of State v. Kenneth Kagonyera. Following the NCIIC investigation, Mr. Kagonyera and four co-defendants were exonerated by the courts for their alleged role in a murder. Notably, all five defendants in the Kagonyera case had pleaded guilty.
Lau earned his JD, cum laude, from Duke Law School. He has a BA in Economics, with distinction, from the University of California, Berkeley. Before law school, Lau taught middle school mathematics in New York City. While teaching middle school, he earned an MS in Secondary Mathematics Education from Lehman College.
Lau is licensed to practice law in North Carolina. He is also a member of the bars for all federal district courts in North Carolina and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Lau is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Lau can be followed on twitter - @LauDurham.