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Beyond "Law & Order": Stanford Law School and the Criminal Justice System with Professor Lawrence C. Marshall (Chicago)


May 11, 2011 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Room Offsite

Beyond "Law & Order": Stanford Law School and the Criminal Justice System with Professor Lawrence C. Marshall
hosted by Demetrios G. Metropoulos, JD '93 and Mayer Brown LLP

Professor Lawrence C. Marshall, a nationally renowned advocate for reform of the U.S. criminal justice system, will give an overview of Stanford’s innovative approaches to clinical teaching, legal ethics, and advocacy skills training. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2005, he was a professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law and of counsel at Mayer, Brown & Platt. At Northwestern, he co-founded and served as legal director of the world-renowned Center on Wrongful Convictions, where he represented many wrongly convicted inmates, including many inmates who at one time had been sentenced to death.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
6:00pm Reception
6:45pm Program & Roundtable Discussion


Despite the neat television story lines of Law & Order and CSI, the criminal justice system in the United States is far from perfect and is actually broken in some rather profound ways. These flaws can impair both of the core functions of criminal law: convicting the guilty and acquitting the innocent. In addition, these flaws can have profound impact on fair sentencing.

Law schools can play an important role in helping to improve the system and stimulating meaningful dialog among prosecutors, the defense bar, judges and policymakers. Too often there is distrust among these participants that frustrates the goal of achieving justice in individual cases and the development of sensible balanced reforms.

Legal clinics, in particular, can play a vital role in helping improve the system by training students in a manner that spawns respect, civility and the highest standards of ethical conduct. At Stanford, several of the legal clinics focus on criminal justice. For example, some students represent clients accused of misdemeanors in municipal courts. Other students help prosecute felony cases in state courts. Another set of students represents clients facing a life imprisonment under California’s Three Strikes Law for minor felonies. Yet other students work on expungment matters to enable ex-offenders to pursue careers. Finally, some other students work on a wide range of criminal law cases pending before the Supreme Court of the United States. Through this work, Stanford Law School and its innovative clinical programs are making a difference throughout the justice system and are preparing students for excellence in practice (whether in the criminal law field or in other areas of practice).