Michael Parente co-directs the Post-Conviction Justice Project. The Project represents clients serving life sentences in California prisons, often for crimes they committed in their youth. Under his guidance, second and third-year law students serve as lead counsel at parole hearings, challenge unjust convictions and sentences in court, and advocate for clemency in appropriate cases. In addition, the Project works to pass significant legislative reforms to improve the parole process and end mass incarceration.
Parente teaches a post-conviction clinical seminar and has taught Criminal Procedure.
Prior to joining the USC Gould School of Law faculty, Parente served as a deputy federal public defender in Los Angeles for 10 years, primarily representing indigent individuals on California’s death row in post-conviction proceedings at all levels of state and federal court.
Parente holds a BS from Cornell University, an LLM in Law and Economics from the University of Manchester, and a PhD in Economics from George Mason University. He earned his JD from the USC Gould School of Law where he was chair of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program and a student supervisor in the Post-Conviction Justice Project.