Social Justice

We understand that making a difference and having a career that matters is important to you. We believe that true impact happens when people step up, take action, and do something.

At Cincinnati Law, you’ll be given the tools and opportunities to work on the tough issues of the day. That might take shape as criminal justice reform, working in our Ohio Innocence Project to overturn wrongful convictions. Or maybe it looks more like a summer working in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, fighting for international human rights through our Urban Morgan Institute. Some students find themselves counseling clients in desperate need of support through our Domestic Violence Clinic, or working with small business owners to transition from a food truck to a brick and mortar restaurant.

No matter the impact you are looking to have, Cincinnati Law’s culture of cultivating social justice champions will serve a supportive launchpad for your success.

Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice

The Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice provides experiential learning, research and other opportunities for interdisciplinary inquiry. At this Center, you’ll bridge theory and practice, forge relationships with local, national and global communities and prepare to take the lead in advancing justice. Primary programs include the Joint Degree Program in Law and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS); the Freedom Center Journal; and the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic.

Become a Social Justice Fellow

Cincinnati Law is committed to providing students unique experiences in the areas of social justice, and more. This is why we are offering a limited number of Social Justice Fellowships to incoming students during the 2020-21 year. While the JD application for admission will be used primarily in selecting fellowship recipients, admitted students who wish to submit additional information regarding their fellowship interest should visit the fellowship page and follow the instructions.

If you are interested in being considered early for this fellowship opportunity, please apply here.

Meet Professor Kalsem: Co-Director

The Ohio Innocence Project

The Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law, founded in 2003, harnesses the energy and intellect of law students like you to identify inmates in Ohio prisons who are innocent of the crimes they were convicted of committing. At Cincinnati Law, you can be a part of one of the national Innocence Network’s most successful branches: to date, OIP has helped 28 individuals obtain their long-sought freedom.

Become an OIP Fellow

One of the most sought-after criminal law opportunities at UC is the OIP Fellowship program.

Typically, students serve as fellows during their second year of school. They begin by working full-time during the summer, and they receive a stipend for their work. In the following fall and spring semesters, they work part-time and complete the fellowship’s classroom component. OIP fellows gain a wealth of hands-on experience. Under the supervision of an attorney, they review inmates’ applications to determine if a given inmate is innocent and that innocence can be proven in court. Students examine case files and review public records, learning how to perform legal research in a very real setting. OIP fellows work directly with clients and potential clients, and they visit them in prison one or more times in the course of the fellowship. If a case comes to litigation, students handle the court filings and assist OIP attorneys in material ways.

In the classroom component of the fellowship, students learn everything they need to know to perform their work for the OIP. They will also learn from OIP Director Mark Godsey about the causes of wrongful convictions and related issues in the US criminal justice system.

If you are interested in being considered early for this fellowship opportunity, please apply here.