As of 2016, there were 1,900 exonerated individuals listed in the National Registry of Exonerations. Cases of wrongfully imprisoned individuals are heartbreaking and infuriating. It seems wrong that in a country built on justice and freedom, innocent people can pay for others’ crimes with their lives.

Legal protection is necessary for individuals that are wrongfully convicted, but the system works against those who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But, times are changing. With the help of initiatives like the Innocence Project and the Center on Wrongful Convictions, individuals are being exonerated at an unprecedented rate. The number of exonerations per week have doubled since 2011, but it is estimated that many more people remain wrongfully imprisoned and even await execution.

exoneration education initiative

The Exoneration Education Initiative

In an effort to encourage law students to pursue a career in defense law and reclaim the rights of wrongfully convicted individuals, Tidwell Law Firm PLLC is offering a $2,500 scholarship to students.


We are asking students to write an essay of at least 500 words detailing the case of a wrongfully accused individual who was released or is still imprisoned that inspired them to pursue a career in defense law. Students are encouraged to outline the case in a detailed way and artfully describe how it led them to choose a career in law.

Eligibility Rules

Applicants must be EITHER out-going high school seniors (graduating summer 2019) OR students currently enrolled in a college, trade school, university, or law school as of the start of the fall 2019 semester.

The essay must be submitted by July 31, 2019.

A winner will be selected by no later than August 15, 2019.


To apply, email your essay to A valid ID and proof of enrollment will be required upon selection.

Apply Online Now!