Sara H. Jones
Sara Jones received her law degree from the University of Minnesota, and her B.S. in Communication Studies with a History concentration from Northwestern University. She began her legal career as an Assistant Attorney General under Hubert H. (“Skip”) Humphrey, Jr. Following that, she practiced law with Popham Haik and Nilan Johnson & Lewis. Her commitment to public and community service then evolved through a career shift into the nonprofit sector, including completing a Mini-MBA in Nonprofit Management at St. Thomas University, and working in advancement and development at William Mitchell (now Mitchell Hamline) and the University of Minnesota law schools.
As Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Minnesota, she leads the organization and is responsible for its financial management and strategic fund development, community outreach and public relations, policy initiatives, and staff and volunteer management.
The roots of Sara’s commitment to the cause of justice began with her father, who served as Minnesota’s State Public Defender for nearly 25 years and taught criminal and constitutional law throughout his career. Over the decades, they had innumerable conversations about justice, mercy, opportunity, and seeing the humanity in everyone. Most significantly, they discussed the need for all participants in the criminal legal system (law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defenders, the courts, and legislatures) to be equally committed to upholding the law, seeking justice, using best practices, and serving with integrity.
Julie Jonas completed her undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Minnesota. After law school, she practiced for eight years with the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office, where she handled a large caseload, representing clients in felony and misdemeanor cases.
She is currently the Legal Director for the Innocence Project of Minnesota, where she has worked since 2003. In her capacity she directs the screening, investigation and litigation of all IPMN cases. She also works on critical criminal justice policy issues. Her work was instrumental in Minnesota’s passage of its 2014 Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act awarding compensation to innocent Minnesota exonerees.
In addition to her work for the Project, Julie teaches at all of the Minnesota law schools, focusing on the prevention of wrongful convictions and working with clinical students to reinvestigate cases of potential innocence.
The highlights of her career are the days when she can help innocent people secure their release from prison.
Marie Wolf received a B.A. from Macalester College, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. She specialized in criminal appellate law, and was employed by the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office. She was also an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law, teaching the Criminal Appeals Clinic and the Legal Practicum. She is now retired, and spends her time volunteering for the Innocence Project of Minnesota and playing with her grandchildren.