Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project

LAIP has worked to fulfill the unmet needs of underserved and vulnerable prison inmates for over four decades. Students experience and reflect on the profound human consequences of an individual’s involvement in the criminal justice system.

Representing Underserved Prisoners in Real Cases

Legal WorkLAIP students are involved in real legal work. The first week, students meet their first clients and have client interviews. Students conduct factual and legal reserach, interview clients and witnesses, travel to multiple correctional institutions, and file motions on behalf of clients. With the range of issues inmates face, students get a variety of legal experiences, both criminal and civil. 

Advocacy: Students are advocates for their clients; they are their voice. Students strive to obtain justice for their clients. Students advocate in writing with motions and advocacy letters, and may be able to represent clients at hearings. Students interact with courts, opposing attorneys, criminal justice agencies, and prison personnel. 

Individualized Teamwork: Students are the drivers of their experience. Although students have their own clients, they are part of a small group, supervised by an attorney. Students talk through problems, generate ideas, and offer each other support. 

Produce Results: Students see the results that they achieve for their clients. They often see cases to the end. Each case offers different challenges, giving students a chance to experience client and the justice system at multiple points.

LAIP does NOT represent inmates in "conditions of confinement" disputes with the prisons, or in challenges to disciplinary reports. However, on these issues, LAIP may be able to provide inmates with information that they can use to proceed pro se (on their own).

In LAIP, the law students work under the supervision of Remington Center clinical faculty, who are all attorneys admitted to practice in Wisconsin. Each student visits one or more prisons and interviews inmates about their concerns. The students then research the facts and the law, and may also talk to witnesses, prior attorneys, or opposing counsel. Where appropriate, the students may draft legal correspondence and pleadings, and may appear in court on behalf of clients.

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