a gavel on a dark desk.

Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic

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
716-645-2108, aharr@buffalo.edu

About the Clinic Student Engagement Projects

This is a four-credit clinic. 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. Students also engage in intensive fieldwork outside of class time.  This might involve calls with clients, clients’ family members, attorneys, or community organizations; researching legal questions; drafting correspondence; reviewing case records; and writing legal briefs. Although case work will generally require regular visits with incarcerated clients, during the fall and spring of 2020-2021 we are not conducting prison visits because of the pandemic. Communication with clients will be by phone and letter.

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.