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
The components of the LAIP student experience include:
- Legal Work: LAIP students are involved in real legal work. The first week, students meet their first clients and have client interviews. Students conduct factual and legal research, 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 strive to obtain justice for their clients; they are their client's voice. 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: 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 the justice system from multiple perspectives.
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 Frank J. 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.