Sara H. Jones
Sara Jones received her law degree from the University of Minnesota, and her B.S. from Northwestern University. She began her legal career as an Assistant Attorney General under Hubert H. (“Skip”) Humphrey, III, practicing in the Solicitor General section. Following that, she practiced commercial litigation at Popham Haik and Nilan Johnson & Lewis.
Her commitment to public service evolved into a career shift to the nonprofit sector, including working in advancement at, among other institutions, William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline) and the University of Minnesota Law School. Sara is a Past-President of Minnesota Women Lawyers and serves on its Advisory Board. She also is a member of the board of We Are All Criminals and served on the board of the Council on Crime and Justice.
The roots of Sara’s commitment to the cause of justice were planted by her father, C. Paul Jones, who served as Minnesota’s (first) State Public Defender for nearly 25 years and taught criminal and constitutional law at William Mitchell throughout his career. She grew up learning from him about justice, mercy, opportunity, and seeing the humanity in everyone. She gained the understanding that, for our justice system to work as it should, all participants (law enforcement, prosecutors, defenders, the courts, and lawmakers) have to work cooperatively and be equally committed to upholding the law, seeking justice, using best practices, and serving with integrity.
As Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Minnesota, Sara is responsible for the strategic leadership of the organization, financial management and fund development, community outreach and public relations, criminal justice policy initiatives, and staff and volunteer management.
Julie Jonas completed her undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Minnesota. After law school, she practiced for eight years with the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office, where she handled a large caseload, representing clients in felony and misdemeanor cases.
She is the Legal Director for the Innocence Project of Minnesota, where she has worked since 2003. Julie leads litigation strategy for the Innocence Project and directs the screening, investigation and litigation of all IPMN cases. Julie supervises the Innocence Project's volunteer attorneys, law clerks, and legal interns, in addition to coordinating all expert witnesses and investigators.
She also works on critical criminal justice policy reform issues. Her work was instrumental in Minnesota’s passage of its 2014 Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act awarding compensation to innocent Minnesota exonerees.
In addition to her work for the Project, Julie teaches at the University of Minnesota Law School and Mitchell Hamline School of Law, focusing on the prevention of wrongful convictions and working with clinical students to re-investigate cases of potential innocence.
The highlights of her career are the days when she can help innocent people secure their release from prison.
advancement and operations manager
Emily began her career with the Innocence Project of Minnesota as the Non-Profit Management and Development Intern. Following her internship, Emily served as IPMN's Interim Executive Director, as well as the lead for the 2017 Benefit for Innocence. In addition to her earlier service to IPMN, Emily has worked as the Events and Marketing Manager for Summit Private Wealth Group.
Emily received her B.A. in Political Science, Economics and Politics, and Pre-Law from Benedictine College.
Her passion for being a champion of the voiceless began at a young age and has played an influential role in her path and professional development, as seen in her leadership and volunteer experience.
As the Advancement and Operations Manager of the Innocence Project of Minnesota, Emily plays a key role in advancing the mission of IPMN and in the successful operations of the organization. Her work includes development and constituent relations, events, communications, and office management in collaboration with IPMN's Executive Director and Legal Director.
Marie Wolf received a B.A. from Macalester College, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. She specialized in criminal appellate law, and was employed by the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office. She was also an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline), teaching the Criminal Appeals Clinic and the Legal Practicum. She is now retired, and devotes her time volunteering for the Innocence Project of Minnesota and playing with her grandchildren. Marie's depth of experience greatly benefits IPMN's clients and IPMN is grateful for her willingness to serve as a volunteer attorney. Marie also serves as a board member of IPMN and is on the executive committee.