In the Habeas Project, Mercer Law’s nationally recognized post-conviction defense legal clinic, students work closely with a faculty supervisor to provide representation for those unable to afford counsel whose constitutional rights have been violated.
Since 2006, the Project has handled dozens of cases pending before the Georgia Supreme Court and various Georgia Superior Courts in post-conviction matters, in which litigants no longer have the right to appointed counsel. In the clinic, Professor Meagan Hurley supervises student case work and mentors in all aspects of representation: client visits, investigation, case planning, brief drafting, and preparing for oral arguments and evidentiary hearings. Students begin to integrate their understanding of larger constitutional criminal law concepts with rules of evidence, appellate/post-conviction rules and procedures, and legal writing and client counseling techniques. Qualified students may sign their clients’ briefs, in addition to engaging in oral advocacy in a variety of courts. The Habeas Project has had remarkable success in a number of appellate and post-conviction cases.
*Enrollment is by application, and while 2Ls may apply, strong preference is given to 3L applicants (and the requirements it fulfills primarily apply to 3L students). The clinic is a 2-semester, 4-hour graded course and it fulfills the advanced writing and drafting requirement (when taken after Legal Writing II), the upper-level writing (“seminar”) requirement, and is considered an Advanced Skills class.
Habeas Project Leadership
Assistant Professor of Law