Chicago Tribune Profiles Exoneration Project Staff Attorney Tara Thompson '03
If you tracked down Tara Thompson's childhood friends and told them what she was doing these days, she says they wouldn't be surprised.
"I can remember as a kid doing mock trial stuff in grade school, thinking, 'This is what I want to do,'" says Thompson, 32, a 2003 honors graduate from the University of Chicago Law School and — since 2007 — an associate at Loevy & Loevy, a Chicago law firm specializing in civil rights work.
"You look at the profession, and it doesn't have an especially positive image. But I think of attorneys as someone you turn to for help. That's why I wanted to be a lawyer."
Much of her time is devoted to people who have no one else to turn to. Since 2008 she has been a staff attorney with the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School. The project works to free individuals who were convicted of crimes they did not commit, taking cases that interest few private lawyers.