Uncovering the Opportunities of the Hawaii Innocence Project: A Guide for Students

The Hawaii Innocence Project is a noble cause that works to free those who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime in Hawaii. The organization offers an unpaid internship opportunity outside of Rockefeller Center, which is overseen by Professor Swenson. Students have the opportunity to enroll in internship programs with Lone Star Legal Aid, and receive two-quarters of an hour of credit for successfully participating in the program. The individualized internship involves research and transactional work in a specifically approved position under the direction of a supervising field attorney and a full-time member of the law school.

The experience can take place during the semester in which the course was taught or, with permission, over the course of one or two consecutive semesters starting no later than the semester following the one in which the student took the substantive course. In addition, some Law Center courses offer an optional experimental component. For example, students who have enrolled in the Criminal Justice Administration II program have received academic credits for their fieldwork at the U. S.

Department of Justice, the East Baton Rouge District Attorney, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Defender's Office, and the New Orleans Innocence Project. The Public Defense Project provides second-year students with an opportunity to work as summer interns in Wisconsin state public defense offices. The Hayes Police and Prosecutors Project includes a ten-week summer internship that allows law students to work with police and prosecutors on real public safety issues. The Indiana Justice Project (IJP) is an Indiana law and policy program that offers students an opportunity to work alongside brilliant colleagues who are driving powerful change. Employees repeatedly tell us that one of the main reasons they love working on the Innocence Project is because it allows them to make a difference in people's lives. Valuable community and taxpayer resources are wasted not only to convict innocent people but also to keep that innocent person in prison.

The Innocence Project Admission Department is tasked with analyzing requests for assistance received by the Innocence Project (approximately 2,400 new requests per year) and identifying cases in which DNA tests can prove the defendant's innocence. The Innocence Project's innovative use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable evidence that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events, but rather stem from systemic defects. Students enrolled in the Innocence Project internship help members of the State Department of Public Defense investigate allegations of actual innocence. When I joined the Hawaii Innocence Project years ago, I knew it wouldn't be your typical nine-to-five job. The Hawaii Innocence Project fights for those who cannot fight for themselves—that is a noble calling—and, in the legal sphere, fighting for those who are truly innocent and have been unjustly convicted has been called doing God's work. Although there are currently no internships available at this time, students interested in joining this noble cause should consider enrolling in internship programs with Lone Star Legal Aid or other organizations that offer similar opportunities. By entering your phone number, you agree to receive regular text messages from the Innocence Project.

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