Associate Professor of Law
Sean O’Brien has been director of various criminal defense clinics at UMKC School of Law since 1983, including the Public Defender Appeals Clinic, the Public Defender Trial Clinic and the Death Penalty Representation Clinic.
Professor O’Brien served as the chief public defender in Kansas City, Mo., from 1985 through 1989, when he was appointed executive director of the Missouri Capital Punishment Resource Center, now the Public Interest Litigation Clinic, where he represents clients in capital trial, appeal and post-conviction cases.
He received his bachelor of arts in English with highest honors from Northwest Missouri State University in 1977, and his J.D. from UMKC School of Law, where he served on the Moot Court Board. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Human Letters from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., for his pro bono work on behalf of condemned prisoners.
He is a member of the board of directors of the Midwest Innocence Project. He teaches criminal law, criminal procedure and wrongful convictions.
Areas of expertise
Criminal defense, capital punishment, innocence project