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
This is a four-credit clinic. Students may choose to enroll for more than one semester. Returning students are able to select varying credit options. Students meet twice weekly for scheduled seminars in addition to weekly team supervisions with the clinical professor to discuss their case work. Students also engage in intensive fieldwork outside of class time. A large portion of this time includes visiting incarcerated clients at prisons in Western and Upstate New York. Clinic work also involves interviews with clients, clients’ family members, witnesses, attorneys, and community organizations; researching legal issues that arise in the client’s case; drafting correspondence; conducting investigations and discovery; reviewing case records; writing legal briefs; and—depending on the stage of the case—arguing your client’s case in court.
Students will work in teams of two or more, and some projects may allow for collaboration with students from other law schools’ clinics. Student attorneys are expected to take the lead on their cases, under the supervision of the clinical professor. 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.