Wrongful Convictions Clinic
The Wrongful Convictions Clinic investigates plausible claims of innocence made by people incarcerated for felonies in North Carolina.
Students in the clinic study the causes of wrongful convictions, including mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty forensic evidence, and “jailhouse snitches.” Together with the Duke Law Innocence Project, a student-run organization with the same mission, student-attorneys work under the supervision of faculty to manage cases and perform a wide range of duties, including interviewing claimants, locating and interviewing witnesses, gathering documentation, writing legal documents and memos, and working with experts. Most clinic cases do not involve DNA.
Many students describe their time in the clinic, working to exonerate individuals incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit, as their most rewarding experience during law school.
Knowing that I can play a role in correcting an injustice and bringing these innocent individuals home to their families — where they should have been all along — motivates me to constantly work harder and to strive to become a better advocate.
James E. Coleman, Jr.
John S. Bradway Professor of the Practice of Law
Director, Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility
Director, Wrongful Convictions Clinic
Jamie T. Lau
Clinical Professor of Law
Supervising Attorney, Wrongful Convictions Clinic
Deputy Director, Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility