Attorney Dean Strang, who featured in the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, discussed the implications of the Steven Avery case at an event in University Concert Hall, Limerick on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 8pm. It was organised by the University of Limerick Law Society. Mr Strang, along with Jerry Buting, represented Steven Avery in his trial for the 2005 murder of photographer, Teresa Halbach. Mr Avery had previously served 18 years in prison for sexual assault and attempted murder before being exonerated in 2003. Making a Murderer covers his 2007 trial and his subsequent conviction for the murder of Ms Halbach. Amy Dermody, second-year law student at UL and conference convener with the UL Law Society, explained why the group decided to invite Mr Strang to the campus.
“Most law students have seen Making a Murderer and it really highlights potential inadequacies in the American legal system, and how important it is to correctly frame legislation to prevent miscarriages of justice. We contacted Mr Strang’s office earlier this year and they mentioned that Mr Strang would be in Ireland in September, and while initially he had no plans to visit Limerick, we were told he would be delighted to accept our invitation,” she said.
“We are thrilled to have such a well-known and highly respected attorney coming to speak to us. One of the things I really liked about Making a Murderer was the way it highlighted the commitment and dedication to the law of a down-to-earth, working attorney rather than a celebrity lawyer,” she continued.
“Obviously this talk is of great interest to law students but we believe that it will also be of huge interest to the wider public because of the unprecedented popularity of the Netflix show. It has attracted an audience far beyond those directly involved in the law,” Ms Dermody added.
Professor Shane Kilcommins commended the students.
“Attracting Dean Strang here is an outstanding coup and it is part of UL School of Law’s broader engagement with community and is an excellent example of ‘law in action’. It fulfils part of UL’s mission in engaging with practitioners and the community,” he said.
“It is fantastic that the UL School of Law has such a positive relationship with the Student Law Society. This type of event is part of the wider curriculum - that students should learn in their modules but also should be involved in societies that promote broader learning,” Professor Kilcommins added.
Dean Strang currently works as an attorney in Wisconsin with Strang Bradley Trial Lawyers and has taught in the University of Wisconsin since 2008.