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My name is Bobby I am honored to be a part of the CIP. I recently transitioned to the legal field after 9 years of service in the United States Marine Corps. Upon graduation I hope to be a prosecutor for the federal government. In the meantime I hope to be exposed to the criminal defense side of our justice system. As a potential future prosecutor, I believe it is vitally important for the balance of our criminal justice system for different entities to be able to understand each other’s perspectives. I have gained valuable life experiences through the Corps in places like Afghanistan, Japan, etc. Now I look forward to gaining experience in public defense that will season me to be a prosecutor.
Born and raised in the Mountain West, the great outdoors of the Rockies taught me there is nothing more important than living a life of free will and sovereignty. To truly come to know one’s self, one must be placed in very uncomfortable situations, far and away from the comforts of home, streets, and stores. This ‘call of the wild’ showed me what I was truly capable of: to find food when I had none, to sleep without a bed, and find my way back home without a GPS. The most exhilarating aspect of nature is the encounter with the unknown, and having the autonomy to navigate one’s self through the unknown. For these reasons, among others, I chose to move to San Diego, CA and work with the California Innocence Project, to hopefully one day help an innocent individual return to navigating the channels of life, truly free and unburdened from a crime they never committed.
Hello, my name is Monica. I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and I am a native Spanish speaker. I completed my undergraduate career at the University of Arizona and studied Psychology and Pre-Law. There, I took a course in Forensic Psychology that ultimately changed my life. Part of this course highlighted the many errors inherent in eyewitness testimony and the countless wrongful convictions that followed. I was deeply moved to learn the stories of the victims who were incarcerated for a crime they did not commit. I cannot think of a greater injustice than this. I knew then that I wanted to attend law school to become a voice for the voiceless. After graduating, I worked as a Paralegal and assisted injured workers with their Worker’s Compensation and Social Security claims. Two years later, I committed to further my legal career and I enrolled at California Western. I learned about the California Innocence Project and immediately knew this was my chance to advocate for the voiceless. I am incredibly blessed to work for this tremendous program and to fight for those who have had their freedom stripped from them.
When I was selected for the project it was a dream come true! Along with the rest of the C.I.P. staff, I am determined to make a tangible impact on the lives of C.I.P. clients and will work tirelessly to help exonerate victims of wrongful convictions. C.I.P. is a non-profit organization and we need your help to continue our work. Please help donate and/or volunteer to help us reach our important goal!
Hello, My name is Courtney. I am 23 years old, born in raised in the Chicagoland area. Before coming to California Western, I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of California – Santa Barbara. There, I studied Political Science with an emphasis on American Politics. Most recently, I served as a law clerk for the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office in Murrieta, California. I currently work as the President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, an Honors Instructor for Legal Skills and a mom to my three dogs & one cat. I feel very honored to be working as a clinical intern for the California Innocence Project this year. I was raised to stand up for people who everyone else has turned their backs on. This is exactly what CIP does. This program gives people a second chance at life.
Like most, my childhood was one of limitless idealism. Even at a very young age, I loved learning about the legal system. I had this grandiose idea I could single-handedly change the world through practicing law. After a series of life altering events, I lost the youthful idealism and I viewed idealism as a luxury, a fantasy for the naïve, which was inapplicable in the real world. My life’s direction turned from law and I obtained a Masters Degree in Political Science. I then volunteered for AmeriCorps and worked with at-risk youth in Los Angeles. From there, I worked as a grant writer and mentor program manager for a non-profit assisting probation and foster youth. I found myself acting as an advocate for minors. After a few years, my idealism returned. However, it was no longer the saccharine, naïve idealism of my youth, but one forged in the face of adversity. This neo-idealism was rooted in the experience that one does not have to single-handedly change the world, merely the life of another, to have a meaningful impact. This is how I ended up at CIP. I want to advocate for those who have been wrongfully convicted and help them get their lives back, one client at a time.