Clinical Programs

Home / Experiences / Clinics / Post-Conviction

Post-Conviction Clinic

The Post-Conviction Clinic investigates claims of wrongful conviction and manifest injustice from prisoners convicted of crimes in Arizona. Post-conviction work is a specialized practice area that delves into both fundamental and nuanced aspects of criminal law and criminal procedure – one that is becoming increasingly vital as over 400 prisoners nationwide have been exonerated either in full or in part by DNA testing, and over 1,500 people have been exonerated by other means. Arizona is home to more than 40,000 prisoners and more than 5,000 on community supervision. Arizona incarcerates more people per capita than any other state in the west and ranks sixth in the country. The clinic works in conjunction with the Arizona Justice Project and here are some of the case profiles.

What students do:

  • Students participate in the post-conviction investigation and litigation of criminal cases.
  • Students produce written work focused on reviewing and analyzing the history of the conviction and the potential reasons for any wrongful conviction, including the role DNA or other newly discovered evidence could play in exonerating the inmate.
  • Students interview witnesses and clients, locate biological evidence, and evaluate whether a given case should be submitted for DNA testing.
  • Students draft requests for post-conviction DNA testing, petitions for post-conviction relief, and petitions for clemency and parole.
  • Students may represent clients in court or before the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency.

Course information

The Post-Conviction Clinic is a 4 to 6 credit hours total which includes 2 credit hours of class work per week. The class component is graded while the client component is Pass/Fail.

Time commitment

Student are expected to spend a minimum of 180 hours in the clinic during the semester (Fall 2017) which would include a 2 hour seminar and 2 hour case rounds session each week.

The Post Conviction Clinic does not accept outside referrals or direct inquiries for services. If you believe you have a valid post conviction claim, please contact the Arizona Justice Project at 602-496-0286 or info@azjusticeproject.org for referral to our clinic or another clinic that can assist you.

Usual Applications dates

*IMPORTANT!* - Pursuant to the Statement of Student Policies, no student pre-registered for a clinical offering shall be allowed to drop the clinic later than two weeks preceding the first day of classes unless instructor approval is first obtained.

Spring 2019:
Priority application period: September 26th - November 7th
Offers extended to students: November 16
Student acceptances due: November 19

Summer/Fall 2019:
Priority application period: January 21st - March 4th
Offers extended to students: March 8
Student acceptances due: March 11

For late applications, please contact the Post-conviction Clinic for space availability

Contact

Katie Puzauskas, Supervising Legal Clinic Attorney
480-965-2874

Our people

Katherine Puzauskas

Katherine Puzauskas
Supervising Legal Clinic Attorney

Robert Dormady

Robert Dormady
Clinical Attorney