Inmate Legal Assistance Project

The Inmate Legal Assistance Project offers you a unique opportunity to sharpen your practical legal skills while you provide valuable free legal assistance to inmates at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

ILAP is a student-run organization funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Working under the guidance of an experienced appellate attorney, students counsel inmates on a variety of legal issues, from direct appeals and ineffective assistance of counsel claims to tort claims and petitions for habeas corpus relief. You will have the opportunity to meet with and interview potential clients on regular visits to the prison.

The opportunities do not stop at the prison gates. Having been assigned cases, you’ll be called on to conduct legal research, draft legal memoranda or client letters, file habeas corpus petitions, and possibly represent clients at disciplinary proceedings or parole hearings.

We encourage you to participate in this project even if you don’t plan to practice criminal law. Aside from dealing with criminal law issues, ILAP provides assistance for many civil claims as well. Your work with the project will involve inmates at various stages in the legal process. ILAP will help you acquire useful legal knowledge that will benefit you in your future legal careers. 

If you are interested in joining ILAP, please come to one of our training sessions or email us at We hope you will join us.