3L Megan Reed to Clerk for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

October 23, 2017

Megan ReedTexas A&M School of Law 3L Megan Reed

Shortly after starting her law school career, Texas A&M law student Megan Reed discovered the Innocence Project, igniting a professional passion for criminal law advocacy.

“I had considered corporate law, but what I quickly realized after working with Mike Ware was how much I enjoyed criminal law, especially innocence work,” Reed said.

Ware is Texas A&M’s Innocence Project professor and the Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Texas.

“I found myself wanting to stay up late and work on these projects, making my professional path very clear,” she said.

Reed’s Innocence Project work served her well in her pursuit of a clerkship with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals—the state’s highest criminal court.

“My first interview turned out to be with Judge David Newell, who wrote the majority opinion for some of Mike’s clients, known as the San Antonio Four, granting their actual innocence claim,” Reed said.

Building on her prior experience interning for Judge Carolyn King on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and Chief Judge Lee Rosenthal in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Reed will clerk for Judge Newell from September 2018 to August 2019. During her clerkship, she will work closely with both Judge Newell and his career clerk while learning the intricacies of the state’s criminal justice system.

“I’ve never given up looking for the position I wanted,” said Reed, who is listening to SCOTUS podcasts and studying upcoming cases in preparation for the role.

“The opportunity to work in this environment is absolutely invaluable,” she added. “I’m excited to work with a seasoned career clerk and also serve in an advisor capacity, discussing the complex legal issues with Judge Newell.”

As for what the future holds, Reed said she’s remembering the words of Anna Vasquez, one of the San Antonio Four exonerated in November 2016.

“I always saw myself becoming a criminal defense attorney and never considered becoming a prosecutor. But Anna told me, ‘You’re the type of person we need as a prosecutor. You understand what justice means rather than just getting wins.’”

San Antonio 4 with Innocence Project studentsSpring 2017 Innocence Project students pictured with two of the San Antonio Four Exonerees and Amanda Knox from the Innocence Network Conference. Left to Right: Catherine Wirth ’18, Melissa Rust ’17, Anna Vasquez, Amanda Knox, Cassandra Rivera, Megan Reed ’18, Michele Moss ’17, and Caitlyn Ashley ’18.