Jarrett Adams

Jarrett Adams

Attorney


The Innocence Project

New York, NY USA


Close your eyes and picture something you want, no matter what is in front of it, that you would do anything humanly possible to get to...all you have to do is keep fighting until you figure out a way to get to that other side.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Jarrett Adams

Highlight
Now Playing
01:13
Jarrett Adams HighlightInterview Highlight
Now Playing
05:36
InterviewThe Interview
Now Playing
00:47
The Importance Of NetworkingWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:35
The Stuff You Put Out In The World Will Come Back To YouWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
02:14
There's A Domino Effect In Our CommunitiesWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
02:32
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
03:05
The Criminal Justice System And Overcoming Obstacles Interview Excerpt
See More
Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago by a single mother.
When he was 17 years old, he was falsely accused of a rape while attending a college party with some friends.
He couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer, so the court appointed him one—the lawyer failed to call some key witnesses or enter a defense, which resulted in him receiving a 28-year prison sentence.
He had served almost 10 years of his sentence before the Innocence Project took his case, got his conviction reversed, and had his record expunged.
He was released in February of 2007 and was back in school by April of that year—says that he knew getting an education was the key to getting himself reacclimated into society.
Started at community college and eventually went on to graduate with his law degree from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law.
His first job out of law school was working as a clerk in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago—the same court that overturned his conviction.
He now works closely with the Innocence Project, in addition to running his own law office and continuing to act as an advocate for criminal justice reform.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
associates
Associate's Degree
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
South Suburban College
undergrad
Bachelor
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
Roosevelt University
doctorate
Doctorate
Law
Loyola University-Chicago
Career

Career

Attorney

I am an attorney with the Innocence Project, Co-Founder of Life After Justice, and advocate for criminal justice reform.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Law
Law
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

I spend most days as an attorney working on a variety of cases including trials, arrests & arraignments, sentencing, and sentence modification. It involves reading and researching the case I am working on, getting to know my client, and then developing a defense or prosecution depending on the case. I also work with the Innocence Project to review potential false imprisonment cases and bring those back to trial to get them overturned.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Knowing how to communicate effectively is crucial. You have to build relationships and network. You never know when you are going to meet someone who will help you become someone.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Going to community college is a great first step to get your foot in the door and help you build the relationships needed to succeed. Getting an AA in something general like Liberal Arts sets you up to study almost anything you want.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

certification
Associate's Degree
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
undergrad
Bachelor
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
doctorate
Doctorate
Law
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You have to forgive the people that did you wrong and move on. "

I don't forgive them. I'm still very angry, but I use that anger constructively and use it to motivate me forward. I want to use my experiences to positively effect others and ensure this doesn't happen to anyone else.

Challenges I Overcame

Legal Trouble
Legal Trouble

I was in prison for 10 years for something I didn't do. Once I was released, I struggled to acclimate myself to society and the shadow of being in prison followed me wherever I went.

Financial
Financial

At the time I was accused, I couldn't afford a good lawyer so the court appointed one for me (a bad one), which ultimately led to me going to prison in the first place.

Single Parent
Single Parent

I was raised by a single mother.