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Thomas, Kimberly

Clinical Professor of Law
Juvenile Justice Clinic
Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic
Michigan Innocence Clinic

3032 South Hall
734.647.4054
E-mail kithomas@umich.edu

Professor Kimberly Thomas's research, teaching, and practice concentrate on criminal law and procedure, especially on sentencing law and practice, juvenile justice, parole and post-conviction, and indigent persons accused of crimes. Professor Thomas is the cofounder (with Professor Frank Vandervort) of the Juvenile Justice Clinic.

In 2017, Professor Thomas received a Fulbright Scholar award to teach and research juvenile justice at the School of Law at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. In 2013, Professor Thomas was among several attorneys honored with the Justice For All Award from the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan for their training and pro bono support following the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court Miller v. Alabama decision holding that mandatory juvenile life-without-parole sentences were unconstitutional. Professor Thomas also has been engaged as a legal education expert for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey, including in 2011, when Professor Thomas spent three months in Amman, Jordan, working on law school curriculum development, especially in criminal law, as well as the creation and support of experiential education and the first clinics in the country.

Prior to joining the Law School faculty in 2003, Professor Thomas served as a major trials attorney with Defender Association of Philadelphia. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland and Harvard Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. After law school, Professor Thomas clerked for the Hon. R. Guy Cole of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Recent Publications

More Publications...


Co-author. "Wrong Turn on the Ex Post Facto Clause." P. Reingold, co-author. Cal. L. Rev. 106 (Forthcoming).

"Random if Not "Rare"? the Eighth Amendment Weaknesses of Post-Miller Legislation." S. C. L. Rev. (2017).
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN

"Juvenile Lifers and Juveniles in Michigan Prisons: A Population of Special Concern." Mich. B. J. 96, no. 9 (2017): 24-6.
Full Text: WWW

Co-author. "From Grace to Grids: Rethinking Due Process Protection for Parole." P. Reingold, co-author. J. Crim. L. & Criminology 107, no. 2 (2017): 213-52.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | SSRN
Professor

Activities

Gave a talk that examines post-Miller juvenile sentencing statutes in light of the Eighth Amendment at the South Carolina Law Review's Sentencing Reform symposium, February 2017.

Co-presented "Deciding Whether and Why to Teach the New and Pressing Legal Issues of Our Times," Midwest Clinical Law Professor's Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 2016.

Presented "Legal and Practical Considerations Relating to MCL 769.25a," Michigan Judicial Institute (training for Michigan trial court judges on post-Miller legislation), Lansing, Michigan, September 2016.

Presented "Creative Motions in Juvenile Life Without Parole Cases," Darrow-Baldus Defense College, University of Iowa, June 2016.

Moderator, Rebellious Lawyering at 25: Clinical Law Review Symposium, Baltimore, May 2016.

Developed and taught a training program for Turkish lawyers who are providing legal information sessions to Syrians living in Turkey, ABA-Rule of Law Initiative, Istanbul, Turkey, December 2015.

Provided two-day training for faculty from Menoufia University Law School in development of their clinical program, ABA-Rule of Law Initiative, Cairo, Egypt, December 2015.

Presented "Creative Motions and Issue Preservation in JLWOP Cases," Darrow-Baldus Defense College, University of Iowa, June 2015.​

Presented a talk on the constitutional sentencing of juveniles, Elderwise, Ann Arbor, June 2015.​

Presented "Representing Clients and Educating Students Amid Risk Management, Background Checks, and Compliance Regimes," AALS Clinical Conference, Rancho Mirage, California, May 2015.​

Presented "Miller, Apprendi, and Alleyne: Does the Sixth Amendment Require a Jury Determination and Finding Beyond a Reasonable Doubt at Miller Hearings?," Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth National Convening, Washington, D.C., November 2014.

Presented "Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Cases, Juvenile Records, and Expungement," Michigan Re-entry Workgroup, Lansing, June 2014.

Presented "Mandatory Sentencing for Juveniles—Life without Parole," Elderwise, Ann Arbor, May 2014.

Co-presented "More Than Mindful in the Face of Constitutional Crisis: The Case Study of Juvenile Life Without Parole and Post-Miller Implementation Work," AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Chicago, April 2014.

Serves on the board of editors of the AALS Clinical Law Review, 2013–present​.

Serves on the University of Michigan Sexual Misconduct Review Panel, September 2011–present.​

Serves on the Michigan State Planning Body for the Delivery of Legal Services, January 2011–present.​