The CSU|LAW Criminal Justice Center embodies our Law School mission to “Learn Law. Live Justice.” Through a model of engaged learning, the Criminal Justice Center transforms students into legal advocates by placing them at the center of efforts to improve and reform our criminal justice system. Our Criminal Justice Center Clinics are designed to address injustices throughout the life cycle of the criminal process: by leveling the playing field at pretrial release and detention, exonerating those wrongfully convicted, and removing legal obstacles facing those released from prison.
At the very outset of a criminal case, disparities begin to emerge between defendants with financial resources to hire counsel and those without. Students in our Pretrial Justice Center work to reduce those disparities. Under the supervision of Professor Robert Triozzi, students assist lawyers in the Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s Office, gathering information and advocating for pretrial release for indigent clients.
Cuyahoga County has the tenth-most exonerations nationwide since 1989, accounting for more than one-third of all exonerations in Ohio. Students in the Wrongful Conviction Clinic, under the supervision of Director Laura Greig, work to reverse those injustices. Students review case files, conduct factual investigations, and analyze legal claims for prisoners with viable claims of actual innocence or manifest injustice.
After release from prison, individuals face countless collateral consequences that prevent them from pursuing a career, finding stable housing, or otherwise integrating back into the local community. Students in our Pardon, Clemency, and Reentry Clinic, under the supervision of Director Khalida Sims Jackson, assist clients seeking pardon or clemency through the Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Program. Students also pursue record-sealing and expungement of past convictions, as well as assisting with other legal obstacles that might prevent successful reentry into the community.
Faculty and Staff
- JSDStanford Law SchoolDoctor of the Science of Law2019
- JSMStanford Law SchoolMaster of the Science of Law2015
- LLMUniversity of California, Berkeley School of Law2014
- LLMNational Chengchi University (NCCU), Taiwan2012
- LLBNational Chengchi University (NCCU), Taiwan2009
Professor Shih-Chun "Steven" Chien’s scholarship and teaching address various legal subjects through doctrinal, comparative, and empirical perspectives.
- BARutgers College, New BrunswickFrench Literature/Political Science1998
- University Paris I-Pantheon-SorbonneMaitrise en droit franco-americain2002
- MAUniversity Paris I-Pantheon-SorbonnePrivate International Law2003
- JDCornell Law School2002
Professor Sterio earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from Cornell Law School in 2002. At Cornell, she was Order of the Coif, general editor of the Cornell International Law Journal and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 2003, she earned a master's degree, cum laude, in Private International Law from the University Paris I-Pantheon-Sorbonne; in 2002, she earned a Maitrise en droit franco-americain cum laude, also from the Sorbonne. Her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in Political Science and French Literature is from Rutgers College, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
- BACornell University, Ithaca, New YorkHistory and Government1979
- JDCase Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio1982
Robert J. Triozzi is a Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of the CSU|LAW Criminal Justice Center. Professor Triozzi has been actively engaged a wide range of experience in legal, civic and public policy matters at the highest levels throughout his career. He has served as an accomplished defense attorney and served as chief trial counsel in a wide variety of cases including death penalty litigation.
- BAGoshen CollegeEnglish1997
- JDUniversity of Michigan2000
Professor Witmer-Rich's research focuses on criminal procedure and criminal law theory, covering areas such as warrants for covert searches, affirmative consent in rape and sexual assault law, the provocation doctrine, and pretextual traffic stops. His articles have appeared in journals such as American Criminal Law Review, Florida Law Review, Criminal Law and Philosophy, Pepperdine Law Review, Case Western Reserve Law Review, and Texas Tech Law Review. He teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, and law and terrorism.
- BAUnion College
- PhDUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
- JDUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
Professor Falk clerked for United States Magistrate Arthur L. Burnett, Sr., upon her graduation from law school and was a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, from 1985 through 1991. She has tried numerous criminal and civil cases.
- BAYale University
- LLBYale University
- PhDYale University
Professor Garlock came to the College of Law after serving as a member of the history department of Wellesley College, as a legal advisor to the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Kenya, as an assistant director of the IJA-ABA Juvenile Justice Standards Project, and as research associate in law with the Carnegie Council on Children. Combining his interests in legal history and juvenile law, Professor Garlock has published on the legal treatment of juveniles in nineteenth and twentieth century America.
Director, Terry Gilbert Wrongful Conviction Clinic
externships and Practicums
- Ohio Court of Appeals, 8th District
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- City of Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office Ohio Attorney General
- Federal Public Defender Office,
- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office
- U.S. Attorney’s Office
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
- Restorative Justice
- Post-Conviction Relief with Cuyahoga County Conviction Integrity Unit
- "Waze" for Criminal Defendants
- Cleveland Police Commission
- Cuyahoga County Bail Reform
- Ohio Criminal Rules Revision