Criminal Justice Clinic
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001-2095
Tel: (202) 662-9583
Clinic Faculty & Staff
John M. Copacino, Director & Professor of Law
Professor Copacino is Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and Co-Director of the E. Barrett Prettyman graduate program in criminal trial practice. Prior to joining the Georgetown Law faculty, he was the Director of the Juvenile Law Clinic at the Antioch School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and received an LL.M. from the Law Center. He serves as trial counsel in numerous criminal and post-conviction cases. In 1997, he received the Law Center's Flegal Award for outstanding teaching. He is active in local criminal justice organizations.
Vida B. Johnson, Deputy Director
Professor Johnson, prior to joining Georgetown University Law Center, was a supervising attorney in the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she worked for eight years. At PDS Ms. Johnson was assigned to the most serious cases at the "Felony One" level, and her experience included numerous trials in D.C. Superior Court representing indigent clients facing charges including homicide, sexual assault, and armed offenses. Ms. Johnson's responsibilities at PDS also included supervising other trial attorneys and serving as one of the agency's two representatives to the D.C. Superior Court Sentencing Guidelines Commission. In 2009, Ms. Johnson was a Visiting Associate Professor in the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. Before joining PDS, Professor Johnson was an E. Barrett Prettyman fellow at Georgetown University Law Center. As a fellow she represented indigent adults in the D.C. Superior Court and supervised students in the Criminal Justice Clinic. Ms. Johnson earned her law degree from New York University Law School in 2000 and she earned her B.A. in American History from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995.
William R. Montross, Visiting Professor & Supervising Attorney
Prior to joining the Georgetown University Law Center as a Visiting Professor of Law, William Montross served as Senior Counsel in the Capital Litigation Unit of the Southern Center for Human Rights, working both for the reform and abolition of capital punishment as well as representing individual clients. While practicing in the "Death Belt," Mr. Montross succeeded in reversing convictions and lessening sentences for death-row inmates in Alabama and Georgia. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1994. Following his two-year tenure as an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown, Mr. Montross served as a public defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the Bronx Defenders, and the Office of the Appellate Defender. In 2003, he began defending those convicted of capital cases at the Southern Center. Mr. Montross also serves as Core Faculty for Gideon's Promise, an organization devoted to inspiring, mobilizing, and training young lawyers to provide the highest quality legal representation to indigent defendants. Mr. Montross is extensively published and a national commentator on matters of criminal justice.
Sarah E. Young, Investigations Supervisor
Sarah is the Investigations Supervisor and Director of the Investigative Internship Program. Sarah received a B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Prior to joining the clinic staff, Sarah spent three and half years working as a Staff Investigator at the DC Public Defender Service, investigating felony cases on behalf of indigent clients. She also worked as an investigator at the Buncombe County Public Defender Service in North Carolina.
Amanda K. Rogers, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
Amanda received a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 2014. While in law school, she helped represent prisoners on death row in Berkeley Law's Death Penalty Clinic. She also advocated for clients at the East Bay Community Law Center's Clean Slate Clinic and the Contra Costa Public Defender. She served as co-president of the student-run California Asylum Representation Clinic and First Generation Professionals. During her law school summers, Amanda worked at the Orleans Public Defender and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Before law school, she worked as an employment counselor for a refugee resettlement agency in Chicago. She received a B.A. from the University of Sheffield in England.
Gwyneth A. O'Neill, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
Gwyneth O'Neill graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers - Newark School of Law in 2014 where she was a Kinoy-Stavis Public Interest Fellow. She was awarded the Eli Jarmel Memorial Prize For Promise and Proficiency in Public Interest Law, the Frank and Marilyn Askin Award for Excellence in Clinical Studies, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. While in law school, Gwyneth participated in the Constitutional Litigation Clinic and the Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic. She also interned at the Orleans Public Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union's Racial Justice Project, and for the Honorable Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the New Jersey Supreme Court. After graduating, Gwyneth clerked for the Honorable Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.
Peter J. Mattingly, Office Manager & Notary
Peter serves as the Office Manager for the Criminal Justice Clinic and DC Street Law. He graduated with honors from the University of Colorado, Boulder, studying psychology and sociology. He interned as an investigator for the clinic during the Fall 2014 term, and will pursue graduate work at Georgetown this upcoming fall.