Joanna Woolman

Assistant Professor of Law

Director, Child Protection Program

Joanna Woolman


Phone: 651-290-8653
Fax: 651-290-6407
Office: 254

Biography | Bibliography


“My role as the Director of the Child Protection Program is to carry out the program’s mission to promote legal-system reform on behalf of children and families through education and training, research, and interdisciplinary collaboration. This includes designing and providing attorney and stakeholder training for child protection system professionals; working collaboratively with other institutions to evaluate and study our model of parent representation, including use of parent mentors; and engaging partners in the child protection community around trauma based systemic change.”


B.S., 1998, University of Wisconsin-Madison
J.D., 2004, University of San Francisco School of Law


William Mitchell College of Law: assistant professor of law, 2015- ; director Child Protection Program, 2014 to present; director Reentry Clinic, 2008 to present; resident adjunct professor of law, director Child Protection Clinic, 2011 to present; Trial Advocacy Skills adjunct professor, 2010 to present; WRAP program Representation Professor, 2010.

Minnesota State Public Defender’s Office: assistant state public defender, 2005-2011.

Associate: Goins and Wood, Minneapolis, MN. 2004-2005.

Admitted: Minnesota, 2004 (state and federal court).

Professional Focus

Professor Woolman directs two clinics at the college. The Reentry Clinic assists women leaving prison with civil legal issues with a focus on reestablishing relationships with children and family. This holistic clinic also helps clients find community resources on their release to help ensure their success. The Child Protection Clinic provides direct representation to parents in the child protection system in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties. Professor Woolman researches, writes, and presents about women’s experiences in the criminal justice system, prison, and reentry. Professor Woolman also helps coordinate statewide training for parents’ attorneys.

Professional Accomplishments

Appointed Member, Minnesota Supreme Court’s Juvenile Protection and Adoption Rules Committee, 2014-.


Woman of Distinction Award – Century College 2011

Minnesota Changemaker – MN Women’s Press 2010

University of San Francisco School of Law – 2004
– Haley Award (given to one member of graduating class by faculty for achievement in academics and service to the law school and community).