Our Staff


Nick Vilbas

Executive director

Phone: 651.523.2690
Email: nvilbas@ipmn.org


A native of Kemp, Texas, Nick obtained his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington before moving on to several positions in the criminal justice field, including law enforcement and court administration. He went on to graduate from Texas Tech University School of Law where he first joined the Innocence Project of Texas as a volunteer student. Nick went right to work after law school, first serving as the Case Director and then the Executive Director.  Nick was instrumental in IPTX’s efforts to combat junk science, including important work on the Dog Scent Lineup Report and the Statewide Arson Review partnership with the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office. After leaving IPTX in 2015 he served as the Assistant General Counsel to the Texas Forensic Science Commission where he managed the Commission’s hair microscopy and bite mark comparison case reviews. Nick is excited to once again be an advocate for the innocent working to free the wrongfully convicted in Minnesota and the Dakotas.


Julie Jonas

Legal director

Phone: 651.523.2845
Email: jjonas@ipmn.org


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 currently the Legal Director for the Innocence Project of Minnesota, where she has worked since 2003. In her capacity she directs the screening, investigation and litigation of all IPMN cases. She also works on critical criminal justice policy 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 all of the Minnesota law schools, focusing on the prevention of wrongful convictions and working with clinical students to reinvestigate cases of potential innocence.

The highlights of her career are the days when she can help innocent people secure their release from prison.


Marie Wolf

staff attorney

Phone: 651.523.2544
Email: innocencemn@ipmn.org


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, teaching the Criminal Appeals Clinic and the Legal Practicum.  She is now retired, and spends her time volunteering for the Innocence Project of Minnesota and playing with her grandchildren.