Sunday, June 5, 2022

CLEA Outstanding Student Award: Northern Illinois's Gregory Connor Wills

CLEA Outstanding Clinical Student or Team Award: Gregory Connor Wills in the NIU's Criminal Justice Clinic

The CLEA Outstanding Clinic Student Award was awarded to third-year student, Gregory Connor Wills, who was enrolled in the Criminal Justice Clinic for both the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters. Connor demonstrated outstanding commitment to his clients and produced superb work on behalf of his clients. He represented a client whose case required synthesizing legal research around the elements of the offense with the facts of the case. He drafted several discovery motions to obtain the necessary factual information from the State to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of our client’s case. His evaluation was nuanced and thorough. In addition, Connor represented an adult who was required to register on the sex offender registry due to an adjudication as a juvenile of a sex offense. The client petitioned to no longer have to register as a sex offender under a provision of the Sex Offender Registration Act. Connor drafted the petition after conducting numerous interviews and working with our expert witness, a licensed clinical social worker, who wrote a risk assessment report. The petition was so well written and persuasive that the State did not object to the granting of the petition and the court granted it without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Connor even worked on his cases between semesters and after the Spring semester ended. Finally, he participated in a Second Chance Expungement Summit assisting people to clean up their criminal records.

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