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California Innocence Project

The mission of the California Innocence Project (CIP) is to free the wrongly convicted from prison, work to reform the criminal justice system, and train law students to become zealous advocates. CIP is known all over the world, and it started right here at California Western in 1999. CIP and its California Western student interns have helped free forty innocent people from prison. As a CWSL student there are many ways for you to be involved and gain real world experience! 

California Innocence Project Relaunch

In anticipation of the exciting arrival of Professor Amy Kimpel as the new Executive Director of the California Innocence Project in July 2024, the clinic is on a temporary hiatus and has paused the provision of services. Professor Kimpel will build upon the strong foundation of the clinic, continuing its work to free the innocent while preparing students for careers in criminal law and beyond.

Please check back for updates about the program and direct any questions in the meantime to

The Student Intern Experience

Hear from CIP interns

California Innocence Project Intern Brittany


CIP Intern, 2022

“My experience with CIP has opened my eyes to the injustices of the “Justice” system while honing my legal writing, investigative, and interviewing skills. Through the practical experience offered by CIP, I will enter the next phase of my career mindful of, and thereby better prepared to avoid, the issues contributing to wrongful convictions.”

California Innocence Project Intern Madison


CIP Intern, 2022

“I chose to participate in the California Innocence Project to continue the fight for criminal justice reform and freeing wrongfully convicted individuals. It is an honor to be a part of a program that gives hope to those whom the criminal justice system failed.”

California Innocence Project Intern Tatum


CIP Intern, 2022

“… I value CIP’s mission to not only help those who are wrongfully convicted, but to implement legislative change in hopes of decreasing the amount of innocent people being wrongfully incarcerated.”

Making an impact

Since its inception, CIP has been involved in changing laws and policies in California related to preserving evidence, litigating innocence cases, and compensating exonerees. 

CIP Clients freed
Innocence claims by inmates reviewed by interns a year
California Innocence Project established at CWSL

Freeing the Innocent

Clients of the California Innocence Project have spent 570 years in prison due to wrongful convictions. While they cannot get those years back, they are now embarking on a future with freedom.

California Innocence Project

Want to know more about the incredible work at CIP, how you can help fund the clinic’s work, or discover how you can join CIP once you are a student at California Western?

Contact Us
350 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101