Education and Participation
Students engage with the Project through the Clemency Project Clinic.
In the Clemency Project Clinic, students meet once a week to explore an aspect of clemency advocacy, from how to build a relationship with one’s client, to how to write their story in a compelling way, to the insights from social science that can further elucidate and mitigate the client’s conduct. The class draws on the wealth of interdisciplinary expertise on the University of Minnesota campus as well as in our local professional community. Most importantly, the students learn by doing—through hands-on involvement in actual pending cases. Working either on clemency petitions, compassionate release motions or another “second look” mechanism, the students get to know a real human being and their family in the cross-hairs of the criminal justice system, and will strategize, research, and develop an effective petition on their behalf. Using a “teaching hospital” format, students then brainstorm each other’s cases, critique the advocacy strategy, and learn from courtroom experiences.
View the Clemency Project Clinic syllabus.