Sept. 12, 2014 – A visiting professor at the University of Houston Law Center who was instrumental in freeing an innocent man from death row has been honored for her community service by her alma mater, The University of Texas School of Law.
Nicole B. Cásarez, is teaching Constitutional Law for the fall semester at UHLC and previously taught First Amendment Law and Privacy Law. She was honored at a reception in Austin Sept. 5 as a Distinguished Alumna by The Texas Law Alumni Association.
Cásarez has also taught journalism and media law courses and directed an Innocence Investigations class at the University of St. Thomas since 2001. She and her students have worked on numerous capital and non-capital cases through the Innocence Project of Texas and the Texas Innocence Network at UHLC. She received national media attention in connection with the case of Texas death row inmate Anthony Graves, whose conviction was reversed by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006. Ultimately, Graves was exonerated in the fall of 2010.
Cásarez earned her undergraduate degree in journalism as well as her law degree from UT. She earned a master’s degree in communications/public relations management from the University of Houston. Prior to teaching, she practiced with Vinson and Elkins law firm.
Casarez also serves as vice-chair of both the American Bar Association Committee on Privacy Law and the Houston Forensic Science Center, which governs the City of Houston’s independent crime lab.