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 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

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.

Lauren VonWiegen, Investigations Supervisor

Lauren is the Investigations Supervisor and Director of the Investigative Internship Program. She received a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lauren went on to spend nearly seven years working as an Investigative Specialist at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she investigated both pre-trial serious felony cases and worked as a Defense Victim Outreach Specialist on IRAA cases.

Jordan Crunkleton, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow

Jordan Crunkleton is a fellow in the Criminal Justice Clinic. She received her J.D. from GW Law in 2022, focusing her studies and work experience on indigent criminal defense. At GW Law, Jordan served as a student attorney in the Criminal Defense and Justice Clinic, a screener for the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, and president of GW’s Street Law chapter, where she taught “Know Your Rights” workshops to kids in DC. During law school, Jordan worked as the lead researcher for stop-and-frisk issues at DC Justice Lab, a legal intern at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for DC in the appellate division, and a law clerk at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia in the special litigation and trial divisions.

Miriam Thorne, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow

Miriam Thorne grew up in Washington, DC and received her law degree from New York University Law School (NYU). At NYU, Miriam served as a law clerk in the Federal Defender Clinic and a student attorney in the Juvenile Defense Clinic. During her law school summers, Miriam interned at the Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans, where she worked on civil rights cases, and at the Colorado State Public Defender, where she practiced as a student defense attorney. In recognition of her clinical work, Miriam was awarded NYU’s Jim Goldfarb Criminal Defense Award. Prior to law school, Miriam worked as an investigator for five years in DC, first at the Children’s Law Center and then at the Public Defender Service for DC. She received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.