Heidi Rummel co-directs the Post-Conviction Justice Project. A former federal prosecutor, she served in the United States Attorney’s Offices in both Washington D.C. and Los Angeles where she focused on violent crime and criminal civil rights cases, and also served as a deputy chief in the Training Section. Prof. Rummel clerked for the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson of the US District Court for the District of Columbia. She holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.
Michael Parente co-directs the Post-Conviction Justice Project. Prior to joining USC Gould, 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.
Michael J. Brennan
Michael Brennan is an authority on the three-strikes law and the death penalty, as well as criminal defense and appeals. A specialist in clinical legal education, Brennan co-directed the Post-Conviction Justice Project and taught Trial Advocacy. He was the directing attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance before teaching at USC Gould School of Law and then Emory University. He also served as deputy federal public defender and as a partner in Balaban, Stern and Brennan before returning to USC Law in 1984. Brennan received his BA and LLB from the UC Berkeley. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He previously chaired the Federal Indigent Defense Panel Selection Committee for the United States District Court for the Central District of California, served as a member of the LACBA Judicial Evaluation Committee, consulted for the National Legal Services Training Program and was a member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy
Senior Case Manager
Eunice Bautista is the Senior Case Manager for the Post-Conviction Justice Project. Ms. Bautista received her Bachelor of Arts degree in U.S. History with a minor in Ethnic Studies from UCLA. Following a successful career as a paralegal in big law, she joined PCJP in 2013. Having established herself in the world of private law firms, Ms. Bautista currently uses her knowledge and experience to prepare law students to work effectively in government, non-profit or private practice. She manages nearly every aspect of the Project: from managing requests for representation and overseeing all court filings and dockets to serving as point person with administrative agencies and prisons to counseling clients and mentoring law students. Eunice is affectionately described by many as “the clinic mom,” because her compassion and care touch every project and every person. PCJP is extremely fortunate to have her passion, expertise, and experience on our team.
Clinical Legal Fellow
Danielle Wilkins (‘22) is our Clinical Legal Fellow for 2022-2024. Her two-year fellowship was made possible through a generous grant from the Kautz Family Foundation. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Danielle graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Management. Prior to starting law school here at Gould, she worked as a systems and management consultant in the finance, technology, and media industries. Danielle chose to attend law school to pursue a career in criminal justice and prison reform. During her three years at Gould, she demonstrated a tireless commitment to these and other public interest pursuits. Danielle participated in the Legislative Policy Practicum, advocating for juvenile justice reforms through state legislation, and served as the Pro Bono Co Chair and 3L Advisor to the Barbara F. Bice Public Interest Law Foundation. In her third year, she was selected by faculty, staff, and fellow students to receive the prestigious Miller-Johnson Equal Justice Prize. She enjoys cooking, spending time at the beach, and reading a good novel.