Professor Imran Syed, '11, is a clinical assistant professor of law and the co-director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic. He also teaches a seminar on forensic science and conducts labs for first-year criminal law courses.
In 2017, Syed was named one of the Top 40 Young Lawyers in the country by the American Bar Association, and he also was recognized by the State Bar of Michigan in 2016 with the Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award.
While in law school, Syed worked in the Innocence Clinic as a student-attorney and, upon graduation, served as a clinical fellow in the Clinic. As part of teaching in the Innocence Clinic, Professor Syed has supervised students investigating and litigating a wide variety of cases, including several of the clinic's forensic science-based innocence cases. Having litigated several arson wrongful convictions that were based on outdated fire science, Syed has written articles discussing the novel litigation strategies needed to address wrongful convictions based on outdated scientific evidence.
Syed also wrote and produced a documentary film, The Price of Providence, about one of the Innocence Clinic's wrongful conviction cases. The film premiered at the 2015 Great Lakes Film Festival, where it received the Audience Choice Award.
Litigated and won the case of an innocent man who spent nearly 38 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder, November 2020.
Argued and won People v. Swilley—a pro bono case involving a child who was wrongfully convicted of murder—in the Michigan Supreme Court
Argued and won People v. Johnson/Scott—the joint case of two innocent men wrongfully convicted of murder—in the Michigan Supreme Court, July 2018.
"From Singularity to Signal: Innocence Clinics and the Integrity of the Legal System"
"Criminal Procedure v. Scientific Progress: The Challenging Path to Post-Conviction Relief in Cases That Arise During Periods of Shifts in Science"
- Criminal Law
"'Shifted Science' Revisited: Percolation Delays and the Persistence of Wrongful Convictions Based on Outdated Science"
- Criminal Law
"'Shifted Science' and Post-Conviction Relief"
- Criminal Law
Conducted a training on Rules and Procedures for Litigating New Evidence Claims, as Part of the Michigan Appellate Defender Fall Training Series.
Presented, “Forensic Science- The Revolution Continues,” Plenary speech at Conference of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan.
Presented, “Forensic Science and Wrongful Convictions,” Conference of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.
Presented, “Procedures and Processes of the Michigan Innocence Clinic,” Annual Conference of the NALS Association of Legal Professionals.
Spoke in favor of Proposed Amendments to Michigan Court Rules Concerning Post-Conviction Motions at Michigan Supreme Court Public Hearing.
Presented, “Recognizing and Litigating Shifts in Forensic Science,” Criminal Law Section of the Washtenaw County Bar Association.
Keynote address on “Progress and Exonerations in Ten Years of the Michigan Innocence Clinic,” Lenawee County Bar Association Annual Gala.
Panelist, Symposium Commemorating the Michigan Innocence Clinic’s Tenth Anniversary.
Awarded Department of Justice grant to support Michigan Innocence Clinic’s litigation of wrongful conviction cases involving forensic science.