Post-Conviction Relief Clinical Practicum

Faculty: Adjunct Professors Jennifer Merrigan and Joseph Perkovich 

The POST-CONVICTION RELIEF CLINICAL PRACTICUM provides students with instruction in the laws and policies governing post-conviction relief in capital and life without parole cases coupled with lawyering experience in handling ongoing cases in Missouri and other capital jurisdictions.   

During class sessions, the course will examine legal and policy issues involved in capital post-conviction litigation.  The readings and class discussion will provide not just the doctrine in post-conviction cases but also address the ways lawyers can use their skill to challenge convictions and sentences.  Doctrinal and practical facets to be covered in the classroom portion are expected to include:  death penalty constitutionality; overview of law and procedure in state courts; “evolving standards of decency” and exclusion of intellectually disabled and juveniles; the roles of juries; entitlement to the effective assistance of counsel; state post-conviction procedure; and federal habeas corpus relief.  

The majority of the student’s course time will be spent working with the instructors, practicing attorneys in the field, on capital cases.  This hands-on legal work will provide students with the opportunity to develop lawyering skills such as interviewing, fact development and analysis, problem solving, legal research and writing, organization and management of legal works, and professionalism.

STUDENTS: Click here to view the course description for the Post-Conviction Relief Clinical Practicum.