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May 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Alum Puts Law Degree to Use on Ohio’s Wrongful Conviction Project

Joanna Feigenbaum ’08, who majored in psychology and sociology at Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences, earned her law degree from Ohio State University in 2011. Her fellowship with Wrongful Conviction Project gives her real-world experience in a program run by the Office of the Ohio Public Defender. OSU’s Moritz College of Law wrote about Feigenbaun’s work:

As an undergraduate at Ohio University, Joanna Feigenbaum ’11 became aware of the growing problem of wrongful convictions in her social sciences studies. She entered law school with hopes of helping those wrongfully incarcerated and contributing to systemic changes that would prevent innocent people from being convicted in the future.

She is the longest-tenured member of the Wrongful Conviction Project, having started as a law clerk shortly after the program’s creation in 2009, Bodenhamer said. “The meritorious claims that she identified early on in her service now are the lead focus of the project,” he said. “One of these claims currently is being litigated for exoneration by her and a veteran OPD staff attorney.”

Feigenbaum believes everyone should have an interest in strengthening the criminal justice system and taking steps to enhance accuracy and fairness throughout.

“As a fellow with the Wrongful Conviction Project, I feel as though I am working toward that objective every day,” she said. “Further, I feel proud knowing that the work I do may result in grave injustices being corrected and innocent people being returned to their lives and families.”

The fellowship also allowed Feigenbaum to practice law immediately upon passage of the Ohio Bar Exam. She has gained invaluable experience interacting with other attorneys, the courts, clients, and witnesses. “These experiences have enhanced my competency and confidence as a new attorney immensely,” she said.



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