The Wisconsin Innocence Project includes a classroom component, as well actual representation of prisoners who have viable claims of innocence.
Students may enroll in the course only upon the approval of the Project directors. Students enroll in the course in the summer following the first or second year of law school.
Students must be prepared to commit to a full year of work in the Project. Students work full time for 12 weeks in the summer, receiving a stipend for half of their hours, and a total of 7 credits for the other half. Students also received a tuition remission for their summer credits. Students must continue in the fall for 7 credits, and in the spring for another 2-4 credits.
To apply, students should submit a resume and a short statement of interest to the project directors. Students must apply (and be accepted) into the summer LAIP program through the Remington Center. The deadline for applying for the summer program is usually November of the preceding year. Students should check with the Remington Center for specific application deadlines.
In addition to working on client cases, students also take part in a classroom component that complements the case work. In the classroom, students examine problems in the criminal justice system that may contribute to convicting the innocent; the process for investigating a claim of innocence; postconviction discovery rules; the competing interests of finality and accuracy in criminal litigation; state and federal postconviction procedures (state collateral attack, motions for new trial based on newly discovered evidence, federal habeas corpus, clemency); the nature and uses of DNA and other scientific evidence; and the rules of evidence governing admissibility of such evidence. Students generally work in teams, under faculty supervision, investigating and litigating cases where viable claims of innocence are uncovered.