In the Oxford Federal Project, students assist inmates of the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin with a wide variety of problems. These generally center around the validity of federal convictions and sentences under the complex federal sentencing guidelines. Other client problems typically involve resolution of outstanding criminal matters from other jurisdictions, family law matters, return of property, release hearings before the immigration service (many clients speak only Spanish), U.S. Parole Commission hearings, and any other issues that can be handled competently. The emphasis is on finding creative, thoughtful, and exacting ways to answer clients’ questions and help solve their problems.
Students in the Oxford Federal Project begin their clinical experience in May and are enrolled full-time in the 12-week summer program. During the summer, they visit FCI-Oxford weekly to interview inmates, building up to a caseload of 8-12 clients. Most of the students’ work takes place at the Remington Center’s offices in the Law School, where they research the facts and the law, and may also talk to parties, prior attorneys, or opposing counsel. Students are also encouraged to observe proceedings in the federal court in Madison.
Oxford students continue their participation part-time in the fall semester, and may elect to continue in the spring semester. Where appropriate, the students may draft legal correspondence and pleadings, and may appear in court on behalf of clients. All of the students’ work is performed under the close supervision of Remington Center clinical faculty.