Jean K. Gilles Phillips

Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies
Primary office:
409C Green Hall

Jean Phillips joined the law school in 1996 as a supervising attorney in the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies, and became director in 1999. She served as director of clinical programs from 2003-2005. She received the Frederick J. Moreau award in 2003. The award is given annually to a faculty member who, in the eyes of law students, has been particularly helpful in advising and counseling students. Prior to joining the faculty, she clerked for the Hon. Robert J. Lewis of the Kansas Court of Appeals. Phillips then joined the Appellate Defender Office. During her four years as an assistant appellate defender, she spent two years working at the Defender Project assisting students in the preparation of appellate briefs. She is a 1990 graduate of the law school.

Courses Taught:
  • Criminal Practice in Kansas
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies


J.D., Kansas, 1990; B.A., Augustana College, 1987.


Criminal Practice in Kansas, Criminal Procedure, Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies

Research Interests

Fourth, Fifth, Sixth Amendments, post-conviction, ethics and criminal defense.


Kansas 1990; 10th Circuit 1996; Supreme Court 2002.

Career History

Research Attorney, Hon. Robert J. Lewis, Jr., Kansas Court of Appeals 1990-92; Assistant Appellate Defender, Appellate Defender Office, Topeka, Kansas 1992-96; Supervising Attorney, Paul E. Wilson Defender Project 1996-98; Associate Clinical Professor and Director Paul E. Wilson Defender Project since 1999.


Clinical Legal Education Association; National Legal Aid and Defense Association; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Kansas Bar Association; Treasurer, Board of Legal Services for Prisoners Inc.; Continuing Legal Education Commission.

Selected Publications

"Self-Defense: What’s a Jury Got To Do With It?," 57 Kansas Law Review 1143 (2009).

“The Insanity of the Mens Rea Model: Due Process and the Abolition of the Insanity Defense,” 28 Pace Law Review 455 (2008).

"Federal Habeas Corpus for Trial Lawyers," 73 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association 20 (January 2004).

"Who Decides: The Allocation of Powers Between the Lawyer and the Client in a Criminal Case," 71 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association 28 (October 2000).

Contributing Author, Practice under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, ABA Section of Criminal Justice (Aspen Law and Business, 3rd Edition, 1993) (Supplement, 1998).

Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks and treatises
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 34 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,600+ alumni in all 50 states, D.C., and 21 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 20th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 80 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • More than 600 employment interviews at law school, 2014-15
  • 92 percent overall employment rate for Class of 2014 – top 20 percent nationally
  • 23rd: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at nation’s largest law firms
  • #1 in Kansas and Missouri for July 2015 bar exam performance