School of Law News

Pro Bono Work in the Spotlight at School of Law

Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Western New England University School of Law will host Chris Jensen, managing partner at the NYC law firm of Cowan, Liebowitz, & Latman, on Friday, January 25 at 11:30 a.m. Jensen’s talk, titled “A Story-Saving a Life,” will discuss his famous pro bono case in which he helped Edward Lee Elmore go free after nearly 30 years on death row. The event will take place at the Blake Law Center in Room A and is free and open to the public.

Elmore was convicted three times for the 1982 murder of a 75-year old widow in South Carolina. Decades later, new questions emerged about the investigation into the murder and whether Elmore received a fair trial. In 2011, the 4th Circuit vacated Elmore’s convictions finding that his trial counsel provided constitutionally ineffective assistance. Subsequently, South Carolina prosecutors offered Elmore a plea agreement in which he was sentenced to time served and released after serving 30 years in prison – the majority of them on death row.

Other big name clients in Jensen’s portfolio include Jim Henson of the Muppets and Estee Lauder. Jensen’s talk coincides with the launch of the School of Law’s new pro bono requirement. Under the program, law students must perform 20 hours of pro bono work in order to graduate. The requirement has also been extended to the faculty of the School of Law.

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