Posse Scholar Kimberly Gutierrez (center) pictured with Jackie Wilson (left) and Samantha Steiber (right) from the Exoneration Project.
Posse Scholar Kimberly Gutierrez (center) with Jackie Wilson (left) and Samantha Steiber (right) from the Exoneration Project.

Denison Scholar Interns at UChicago’s Exoneration Project

Spring 2019 | National

Kimberly Gutierrez, a Denison University Posse Scholar, was proud to complete a unique summer internship with the University of Chicago Law School’s Exoneration Project. The Exoneration Project clinic focuses on cases in which individuals are believed to have been wrongfully convicted.

As the only undergraduate intern at the Exoneration Project, Kimberly spent eight weeks working alongside attorneys, first- and second-year law school students, and wrongfully convicted individuals in the program’s caseload. She also had the opportunity to witness a federal trial, transcribe a 2,000-page case for an upcoming exoneration, and collaborate with the Exoneration Project’s partner firms.

Kimberly has a unique blend of tenacity, compassion and patience.

Kimberly says one of her personal highlights was working with Jackie Wilson, an exoneree who was wrongfully convicted and spent 36 years in prison. After Mr. Wilson’s release, Kimberly helped him navigate the re-entry process. She recalls helping Mr. Wilson move into his new home and taking him shopping at Target for new clothes.

She hopes to return to the Exoneration Project to intern during winter and summer breaks.

“It was truly a great opportunity,” Kimberly says, noting that she first learned of the position through Posse. She says support from Denison’s career center was also integral in preparing her for the initial interview.

"Kimberly has a unique blend of tenacity, compassion and patience—qualities that are crucial to the work we do at the Exoneration Project and are so rarely seen altogether in a single person,” says Samantha Steiber, a social worker and Kimberly’s internship supervisor. “I am so excited for the work Kimberly will do, and I am proud of the work she’s done for us."