Prisoners' Rights Project

Professor Richard Dvorak, Adjunct Professor, 630-568-3190

IMPORTANT: The Prisoners' Rights Project requires a one or two semester commitment (fall or spring of the third year of law school).  Please contact Professor Maddali to communicate your interest.

Credits and Grading 4 credits per semester, Pass/Fail
Max. Enrollment 8 students
Prerequisites Professional Responsibility (643) and Introduction to Lawyering Skills (720)
Recommended Courses  Evidence (655)
711 Requirement Students must be eligible for an Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 License, which requires completion of 45 credits and Dean’s approval. See the Clinical Program website for instructions for applying for a 711 License.
Orientation Requirement Students must attend an orientation to the program prior to the start of the fall semester. The date will be determined in August.

Seminar Class and Experiential Component
  • Seminar Class: Day/time to be determined. Contact Prof. Dvorak for details.
  • Experiential Component: In addition to the seminar class, students must spend 12 hours per week on case work.  Students must be present a minimum of one full day per week for intakes, court appearances, client matters and meeting with supervising faculty.
Additional Hours Students must be available to work on behalf of clients at additional times to meet the total experiential hour requirement each week.  These hours may be completed on campus or elsewhere.  You will be notified of your hours shortly after registration.


Students in the Prisoners’ Rights Project represent inmates who have federal civil rights claims arising out of prison conditions, typically excessive force or failure to receive medical care. The goal of the Prisoners’ Rights Project is to have each student workup and try a prisoner’s civil rights case in Federal Court. 

Students will be responsible for all aspects of their client’s case including meeting with their client in prison, keeping their client updated on the status of his/her case including answering all questions, presenting their client for deposition, identifying witnesses, deposing defendants and identified fact witnesses, retaining experts, preparing and presenting experts for deposition, preparing the pretrial brief and conducting the jury trial in Federal Court.