Northern California Innocence Project A

Class Information Fall 2013

  • 3 units
  • Class No.: 92659
  • Meets: T-Th
  • Time: 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM
  • Location:
  • Exam:
  • Course Description
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Linda Starr

Legal Director, Northern California Innocence Project and Associate Clinical Professor

Northern California Innocence Project A

Certificate(s): Public Interest and Social Justice Law (List A)

Course Description:

The Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) is a law school clinical program providing a unique educational opportunity for law students to investigate possible wrongful convictions and represent imprisoned clients with viable claims of actual innocence. Supervised by experienced legal and forensic staff, NCIP law students evaluate innocence claims by reviewing case histories, appellate briefs, transcripts, medical records, and other documents. Students participate directly in the investigative process by interviewing prisoners, witnesses, crime lab personnel, law enforcement, defense attorneys and prosecutors to help prove claims of innocence. Beyond investigating their cases and interviewing witnesses, NCIP students draft legal documents such as motions, declarations, briefs, legal memoranda and letters to attorneys, clients and others. Students also attend and participate in court proceedings. NCIP students must attend an intensive two day training session known as “NCIP Boot Camp” and attend classes twice weekly which focus on post-conviction law and issues relevant to wrongful conviction. Class topics include federal and state habeas corpus procedures, post-conviction DNA testing laws, investigation techniques, witness interview strategies, and the science of DNA testing. For every 50 hours of participation in the program including casework and class attendance, a student earns one unit. The first 3 units of academic credit earned at NCIP are graded. Any earned units above 3 are graded credit/no credit.

Class Notes:

Graded. Students must submit an application. All accepted students must obtain a permission number from NCIP to register for this course (contact  hdixon@scu.edu) . Priority will be given to those signing up for the whole year. Students enrolled in Basic NCIP must take at least three units. If you would like to take three units of Basic NCIP for a grade, you should enroll under 505A. If you would like to enroll in either three units for credit/no credit or for units in addition to your three under 505A, you should enroll in 505B (see below). There is no final or paper – credit and grade are earned through class participation and work on cases. Requirements: ALL NCIP students must attend the first week of class, beginning Tuesday, August 20th at 4:10 PM as well as our training session “NCIP Boot Camp” on Friday, August 23rd starting at 8:30 AM. NCIP required texts must be purchased before the first day of class through the University bookstore. Readings and other important announcements will be posted on Claranet. Class will meet at the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP), 900 Lafayette St. (corner of Lafayette and Homestead, first floor). Work and classes at the Innocence Project provide insight into our criminal justice system and the causes of wrongful conviction. You will receive professional skills training including case management, organization, and development as well as interviewing and counseling skills. You will have the opportunity to develop your legal writing ability through edited work on legal pleadings, professional communications and legal memoranda. These important skills transfer to professional work in law firms and government agencies, as well as criminal law practice. This class meets the Professional Skills Requirement.