The Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic provides students with an opportunity to advocate for criminal system reform on behalf of incarcerated individuals and those facing criminal charges in Western New York.
Alexandra Harrington, Director
University at Buffalo
School of Law
507 O’Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260
The clinic serves to expand criminal defense and reform capacity in Western New York. Student attorneys in the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic will take the lead on client casework on behalf of incarcerated individuals, in addition to policy advocacy and community outreach efforts.
Case work includes resentencing, parole, and post-conviction hearings. For their first semester, students will work on resentencing cases under the 2019 Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act. This law allows survivors of domestic violence to apply for resentencing if the abuse they suffered was a significant contributing factor to the crime. Student attorneys will be assigned a client and will work on preparing their clients’ resentencing applications, as well as exploring other avenues of relief. These other avenues may include preparation for upcoming parole hearings. Clinic work will involve visiting incarcerated clients imprisoned in New York facilities.
Clinic students also engage, in partnership with local organizations, in criminal system policy reforms, including in the areas of police oversight and accountability, as well as criminal system responses to COVID-19.