Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic (30135) and Fieldwork (30136). 2 units, credit/fail, with a graded option for each part (4 units total). The clinic and the fieldwork must be taken simultaneously. For the first time in a generation, there is bipartisan reconsideration of the criminal laws and “tough-on-crime” policies that have led to the imprisonment of over two million people in the United States – what many describe as “mass incarceration.” In the clinic’s seminar students will study the legal, social, and policy factors that contributed to the exponential rise of America’s prison population and consider alternative approaches to punishment. In the field work, students will represent clients in two types of cases: federal sentencing proceedings and Connecticut state parole hearings. Students will learn advocacy strategies aimed at mitigating or ameliorating their clients’ punishment, both prospectively during sentencing and retrospectively during post-conviction proceedings. This work will include: building relationships with clients (some of whom will be incarcerated); interviewing witnesses; investigating case facts; developing case theories; working on interdisciplinary teams alongside expert witnesses; using narrative writing techniques to prepare persuasive pleadings; and developing reentry plans for clients leaving prison. Additionally, students will present oral arguments at their clients’ federal hearings and will prepare state-sentenced clients to testify before the parole board. Open only to J.D. students. Enrollment is limited to six. Permission of the instructor required. M. Gohara.
Course Bidding: Students should bid only on the clinic seminar (LAW 30135). Any student who is accepted in the clinic will automatically be enrolled in the fieldwork section (LAW 30136).
Note: Students may not be enrolled in a LSO clinic and any of the following non-LSO clinics in the same semester, whether as a student director, fieldwork-only returning student, continuing student, or otherwise: Education Adequacy Project, Legal Assistance; Prosecution Externship.