California Innocence Project

Meet the Students

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Olesya

Olesya

  

I was raised in Siberia, Russia and immigrated to the United States nine years ago.  In Russia, I graduated from Krasnoyarsk State University with my Master’s in English and Chinese.  While attending Krasnoyarsk State University, I had an opportunity to study in China and travel to South Korea.  Since I was little, I have always wanted to be a lawyer.  After my first semester of law school, I started interning at the Innocence Project.  I fell in love with the Innocence Project and the work that we do for our clients.  I am truly honored to be one of the clinical students at the Innocence Project.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn how our legal system works; work closely with a great team of students and brilliant supervising attorneys; and, most importantly, help the innocent people.

 

Jamie.jpg (265×352)

Jamie

  

I am from North Carolina and attended Davidson College, where I got my undergraduate degree in Spanish. When I moved to California and began law school, I learned about the California Innocence Project and the amazing work they do. After hearing speakers talk about their experiences in prison for crimes they didn't commit, I knew I had to be a part of this Project. If I can leave this year knowing I made a difference in one person's life, all the hard work will be worthwhile. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work for CIP and to help the victims of wrongful incarceration to get their lives back.

 

 

 

Alyshia

Alyshia

       

I grew up in a small town in Texas, just outside of San Antonio. I earned my undergraduate from Texas State University, where I majored in Criminal Justice and minored in Sociology. It became clear to me my junior year of undergrad, while taking a criminal law class with the district attorney, I wanted to attend law school.  I knew about the Innocence Project before coming to California Western School of Law; I saw a video in a Forensic Science class in which an innocent man had been wrongfully convicted and was later exonerated by the Project. After getting into law school and moving to California, I never could have imagined I would actually get to be part of the Innocence Project. I have been given the amazing opportunity to help change the lives of those who have had their freedoms taken away by an unfair justice system. 

 

Charlotte

Charlotte

  

Hi, my name is Charlotte! I am originally from Ventura, California, but have been living in San Diego the last 8 years. I graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors degree in History. I have always been passionate about people, and particularly people in need. I learned of the California Innocence Project from a previous clinic student. I believe wholeheartedly in the Innocence Project’s mission, and could not be more determined and thrilled to be a meaningful part of this program.

 

Andrew

Andrew

        

I am from San Diego, CA and received my undergraduate degree in Philosophy from CSU, Dominguez Hills. I first heard about the California Innocence Project from my mentor during summer prep before law school--I knew I had to be a part of it. I understand the importance of correcting the wrongs in our criminal law system and am passionate about learning how to do so. I am excited to be a part of a team that places so much meaningful effort on exonerating those who have been wrongfully convicted. People who are wrongfully convicted are very vulnerable and despondent and are no doubt considered the underdog in their fight toward freedom. The fact that these people count on the California Innocence Project to get them out of prison is what really inspired me to join and what will continue to inspire me to work hard.

 

Bonnie

Bonnie

  

Hi, my name is Bonnie McKnight, and I am from Memphis, Tennessee. I love to play tennis, basketball, and beach volleyball in my spare time. I went to college at the University of Washington in Seattle. There, I developed my passion for public interest work after volunteering as a teacher’s assistant for a non-profit at Monroe Prison. California Innocence Project is the reason I chose to attend California Western School of Law, and I feel fortunate for this opportunity to participate in such a noble program!

 

 

 

 

Alex

Alex

 

Hi, my name is Alex and I grew up in Sedona, Arizona. I graduated from the University of San Francisco and went from photojournalism to political science. I debated whether to travel after graduation or apply to the Peace Corps, but decided to apply to law school instead. The California Innocence Project has propelled my confidence and enthusiasm in the choice I made. Coming from a family of lawyers, it is nice to have something this unique that feels like my own. I am truly excited to be working as a clinical student in the Project this year.

 

 

 Alise

Alise
         

          

Hi everyone - my name is Alise. I was born in Sacramento and raised in San Diego. I attended UC San Diego for my undergraduate degree where I played four years of soccer. I always knew I wanted to pursue law and after college I worked as a paralegal to solidify my decision to attend law school. The California Innocence Project is the reason I decided to attend California Western School of Law.  I feel very fortunate to have become a part of this well-respected program and look forward to taking advantage of every opportunity it presents so that I may pursue my ultimate career goal in helping as many people as possible.

 

 

Jen

Jen


     

Born and raised in beautiful San Diego, I am one of the rare few who can call themselves a true San Diego Native. I studied International Relations with a minor in Spanish at the University of San Diego.  While at USD, I played four years for the Toreros' Softball Team as a pitcher.  I also had the opportunity to travel extensively through Europe, studying in both Spain and Ireland. After graduation, I continued my softball career in Bern, Switzerland playing professionally for the Bern Cardinals.  Quickly after starting law school, I was drawn to the California Innocence Project and the amazing work they do.   I am very grateful for my opportunity to work with CIP and I hope that I can help take a stand for the innocent men and women that are wrongfully convicted.

 

Jose

José

 

I was raised in Santa Maria, California and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an immigrant child, I often had to translate and help my parents communicate because they could not speak English. Unfortunately, when my younger brother was arrested as a juvenile, I was unable to help my parents understand the legal process. The feeling of helplessness sparked a desire in me to seek answers by pursuing a career in law. The California Innocence Project is that answer for many wrongfully convicted. As a clinical student for the Project, I want to contribute to the Project’s goal and great service to be a voice for potentially innocent inmates.

 

Alexa

Alexa
 

I grew up in Winnipeg, Canada (go Jets go!) and just moved to San Diego last year to begin my law school career.  I studied music at McMaster University and eventually Human Nutritional Science, obtaining my B.Sc. at the University of Manitoba.  As a law student and ultimately an attorney, my goal is to make a difference in the lives of those individuals who are underrepresented in society and at a disadvantage in the legal system.  When I was presented with the opportunity to work with CIP I was so grateful for the chance to contribute to their amazing work.  I am thrilled to be working with the dedicated attorneys and other passionate clinical students at CIP and I will dedicate this year to doing everything I can to help exonerate those who have been wrongly convicted.

 

 

Fatima

Fátima

 

I was born in Asuncion, Paraguay where I wandered for a brief period before I made my way to the great Garden State, known as New Jersey. There too I found myself wandering through Phish concerts, the Appalachian trail, and the majestic Ginsburg Hall at Rutgers University where I studied political science and economics.  My undergraduate education exposed me to a variety of new cultures and perspectives, where often I would hear personal accounts of the deprivation of the basic rights we so often take for granted. These stories, coupled with my personal experience as an immigrant, incited in me a passion for justice and the desire to uphold the integrity of our justice system.  I was drawn to study the law at California Western because of the work of the California Innocence Project and I am most thankful to be given the opportunity to assist those wrongfully convicted who have slipped through the cracks of our system.   

 

 Nadine

Nadine

         

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, I became passionate about criminal defense advocacy at a young age.  While interning at a criminal defense law firm as an undergraduate at UCLA, I was enticed by the intricacies of our legal system.  Almost immediately I realized that while I enjoyed learning the law, the legal processes was a daunting nightmare for others!  That is when I became committed to pursuing a career where I could help under-represented groups with their legal proceedings.  I was drawn to California Western School of Law for their Innocence Project where convictions are re-examined and innocent prisoners are freed.  As a law student now working for the Project, I am blessed with the opportunity to help exonerate the wrongfully convicted.  Thank you for your donations to the meaningful efforts here at CIP!

     

 


 
   

I was born and raised in Temecula, California. I attended UC Santa Barbara for my first two years of college as an economics major. I then transferred to UC San Diego for my last two years, where I changed my major to Sociology . It was in these two years I learned a lot about our legal system through academic and personal experiences, unfortunately many of them being flaws in our criminal justice system. Once starting school at California Western, I learned more about the California Innocence Project and became interested in working to fight the injustices I saw. I am grateful for this opportunity to work with the California Innocence Project and  excited for the challenging and fulfilling year ahead.

 

 

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