Criminal Justice Reform Clinic

Criminal Justice Reform Clinic I - Professor Aliza Kaplan

  • Course Number: LAW-758
  • Course Type: Highly Specialized & Experiential
  • Credits: 4
  • Enrollment Limit: 7
  • Description: Students involved in the 2024-2025 Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC or Clinic) will have an opportunity to work on a variety of case work and issues including SB 819,  clemency, parole, incarcerated youth legal representation, forensic science, and removing legal barriers that keep individuals in poverty.

Students in the CJRC will have the opportunity to advance criminal justice reform working with Professor Kaplan and in collaboration with attorneys and organizations such as the Forensic Justice Project, Disability Rights Oregon, and the Community Law Division (at Metropolitan Public Defender) on individual casework along with various research and data driven projects and reports, briefs, and legislative initiatives. Students will conduct legal/fact research and analysis; write motions, briefs and reports; interview and advise clients; attend legal and legislative meetings and hearings; and meet and participate in strategy sessions with members of the bar, the judiciary, and community leaders. Students will also benefit from guest lectures by experienced attorneys, former clients, and allied professionals (e.g., legislators, law enforcement, activists).

The Criminal Justice Reform Clinic is open to second and third year law students by application which is available here. There are no course prerequisites for this Clinic but taking Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure II (and other criminal, poverty or immigration related course offered) prior to or concurrently with their clinic experience is recommended. The Clinic plans to offer approximately 5-7 students an opportunity for intensive study and actual experience in criminal justice advocacy during the 2024-2025 academic year.

The Criminal Justice Reform Clinic is a yearlong clinic for which students will earn 8 credits with grading on a credit/no credit basis. Students will participate in a weekly 1-hour seminar class covering substantive issues and lawyering skills. A portion of the class will include opportunities to discuss their clients and/or projects with the group. Students will also have an opportunity to reflect on various aspects of their Clinic experience. Separate from the class and reflection, students will be required to work at least 14 hours per week on clinic work and to meet regularly with Clinic supervisors to discuss their work and progress.

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Credit/no credit based on written work completed in the course
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: Yes