a gavel on a dark desk.

Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic

The Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic will provide students with an opportunity to advocate on behalf of incarcerated individuals and those facing criminal charges in Western New York. Case work may include resentencing, parole, appellate, and post-conviction hearings.

Students will also engage in policy work in partnership with local defender associations and community organizations on criminal system reforms, including newly enacted resentencing provisions, changes to parole procedures for people who were children at the time of the crime, bail reform, and criminal system responses to COVID-19.

The clinic will serve to expand criminal defense and reform capacity in Western New York. Working in teams, student attorneys will take the lead on client casework, in addition to policy advocacy and community outreach efforts. Student attorneys will learn to build client relationships; interview witnesses; conduct investigation; develop mitigation evidence; work with experts; and engage in oral and written advocacy before the courts, parole boards, and legislature.

In addition to scheduled seminar times, students will meet weekly for team supervisions with the clinical professor and will engage in fieldwork outside of class time; case work will likely require regular visits with incarcerated clients.

Students with questions about the clinic should contact Professor Ali Harrington at aharr@buffalo.edu.