Staff/Contact Us

Criminal Justice Clinic
McDonough 123
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001-2095
Tel: (202) 662-9583

Clinic Faculty & Staff

John M. Copacino, Director & Professor of Law
copacinoProfessor Copacino is Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and Co-Director of the E. Barrett Prettyman graduate fellowship program in criminal trial practice and advocacy. 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. as a Prettyman Fellow from the Law Center. In the District of Columbia, he continues to serve as trial counsel in numerous criminal and post-conviction cases. He remains active in local criminal justice organizations and regularly participates in local and national training programs for criminal defense lawyers. In 1997, he received the Law Center's Flegal Award for outstanding teaching.

Vida B. Johnson, Deputy Director
vidaProfessor 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.

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.

Gwyneth A. O'Neill, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
gwynethGwyneth 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 t
he 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.   

Elli Marcus, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowelli
Elli Marcus graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she was a Levy Scholar. She received the Lipman Redman Prize in Legal Writing and was elected to the Order of the Coif. At Penn, Elli represented clients facing misdemeanor and felony charges in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas through the Criminal Defense Clinic. She also co-directed the Penn Law Equal Justice Foundation and served as the policy and outreach coordinator for the Criminal Records Expungement Project. Elli was a member of the Penn Law Trial Team, a senior editor of the Law Review, and instructed first-year students in legal writing and practice skills as a Littleton Fellow. Elli spent her 1L summer with the Alexandria, Virginia Public Defender and her 2L summer at The Bronx Defenders, working in the Family and Criminal Defense practices. Following graduation, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Anita B. Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Before law school, Elli worked in education reform in New York City. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Hamilton College, where she graduated summa cum laude with honors in her major.

Peter J. Mattingly, Clinic Manager & Notary
Peter serves as the clinic administrator 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.

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