In the clinic’s seminar, students study the legal, social, and policy factors that contributed to the exponential rise of America’s prison population and consider alternative approaches to punishment. In the field work, students represent clients in two types of cases: federal sentencing proceedings and Connecticut state parole hearings. Students will learn advocacy strategies aimed at mitigating or ameliorating their clients’ punishment, both prospectively during sentencing and retrospectively during post-conviction proceedings.

Students’ work will include:

  • building relationships with clients (some of whom will be incarcerated)
  • interviewing witnesses
  • investigating case facts; developing case theories
  • working on interdisciplinary teams alongside expert witnesses
  • using narrative writing techniques to prepare persuasive pleadings
  • developing reentry plans for clients leaving prison

Additionally, students will present oral arguments at their clients’ federal hearings and will prepare state-sentenced clients to testify before the parole board.

Learn about the Yale Law School Clinical Fellowship — Criminal Legal System Advocacy.


Miriam Gohara

Kelly M. Barrett

Ways to Engage

Our Clinics

Yale Law School offers more than 30 clinics that provide students with hands-on, practical experience in the law on a diverse range of subject matters.


Yale Law School offers a suite of innovative simulation courses based on real-world case studies.

Centers and Workshops

Yale Law School enhances the intellectual life of its academic community by sponsoring a variety of centers, programs, and workshops, inspired by the interests of its faculty and students.

Yale is the finest law school in the country, and as a result, we are able to admit students who will become leaders in the country, and indeed around the world, in many fields.”

David Schleicher

Professor of Law