Texas Tech University

Innocence Clinic

The Texas Tech Innocence Clinic, working in conjunction with the Innocence Project of Texas, provides a clinical opportunity to students interested in post-conviction criminal litigation. The Texas Tech Innocence Clinic provides legal representation and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove their innocence of felonies for which they have been convicted. Students accepted into this clinic will be given an opportunity to review and investigate claims of actual innocence by individuals wrongfully convicted of a felony and, where appropriate, pursue legal avenues for exoneration and release from prison.

How We Started

Beginning in the Spring semester of 2003, the newest clinical program at Tech Law was known as the Innocence Project. Tech Law graduate Lena Roberts and Professor Tim Floyd started the clinic with 14 students who investigated claims by Texas inmates of actual innocence of crimes for which they had been convicted. Associated with the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project, this initial program continued during the Fall semester of 2004 with Ms. Roberts volunteering as coordinator and Professor Angela Laughlin assuming the role of faculty supervisor. At its inception, the Innocence Project was a one semester course.

During the Spring semester of 2005, with the faculty support of Professors Larry Cunningham and Angela Laughlin, private attorney Jeff Blackburn added his expertise in the creation of the West Texas Innocence Project -- a non-profit, off-campus, student staffed extension of the Tech Law Innocence Project. During the Fall 2005 semester, Judge Charles F. Baird, as a visiting professor, acted as faculty supervisor for the Innocence Project with Professor Laughlin once again assuming that role during the Spring of 2006.

The Fall of 2006 saw the Innocence Clinic extended to a two-semester, full year program for the first time under the direction of Mr. Blackburn and his staff. Associating with the Innocence Project of Texas, the Innocence Clinic continued until the Fall of 2011 when it was converted to an externship.

The Fall of 2016 saw the re-birth of Tech Law's clinical, innocence outreach with the creation of the Texas Tech Innocence Clinic as an on-campus clinic under the Direction of Professor Patrick S. Metze, Director of Criminal Clinics. Professor Metze chose Tech Law graduate and post-conviction, appellate attorney Allison Clayton to be its first Adjunct Professor.

Mission Statement

The Texas Tech Innocence Clinic shall educate and train students in post-conviction litigation by exonerating individuals who are wrongly convicted. The Texas Tech Innocence Clinic aims to combat injustice by identifying, investigating and advancing credible wrongful conviction claims by individuals convicted of felonies in Texas. Our students are dedicated to bring reform to the system responsible for the unjust imprisonment of innocent people.

Our Promise to You

The Texas Tech Innocence Clinic vows to dedicate its resources, time, and energy to fully investigating all cases it accepts. It is our responsibility to make ourselves available to you. We will communicate with you via written correspondence on a regular basis, and we will meet with you in person as frequently as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact us:
Innocence Clinic
Texas Tech University School of Law
1802 Hartford Ave.
Lubbock, TX 79409-0004
Phone: 806-742-3990
Fax: 806-775-7954

Important Links