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Staff

Nick Vilbas
Executive Director

A native of Kemp, Texas, Nicholas Vilbas 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 approached the IPTX representatives at the Texas Tech University School of Law during his 1L year and hasn’t left the organization’s side since. During law school, Nick clerked for a local defense lawyer while simultaneously working with the IPTX clinic for two years. In 2009, he was honored with the IPTX “Member of the Year” award for his dedication to the organization.  Nick joined the IPTX staff shortly after taking the Bar Exam to serve as the Case Director.  A year later he became the Executive Director.  Nick has been instrumental in IPTX’s efforts to combat junk science, including essential work on the Dog Scent Lineup report and overseeing the Statewide Arson Review. Nick was also elected in 2013 to serve a three-year term on the Board of the Innocence Network, serving on several committees and working groups.

Natalie Roetzel
Chief Staff Attorney

One of the original members of the Innocence Project of Texas (IPTX), Natalie's interest in law and the criminal justice system began during her career as an undergraduate student at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She majored in Political Science and graduated from Trinity cum laude in 2004. Shortly thereafter, Natalie decided to enroll at the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth. During her student career at Wesleyan, she served as a Notes & Comments Editor for the Texas Wesleyan Law Review, and she co-founded the Wesleyan Innocence Project. Simultaneously, she joined forces with IPTX in order to coordinate innocence investigations and litigation statewide. Immediately upon graduation, Natalie began working as the Executive Director for IPTX and as a staff lawyer for the organization's clinical program at the Texas Tech University School of Law. She held that position for three years but recently decided to put her law license to better use as the organization's Chief Staff Attorney. Currently, Natalie focuses her efforts on the litigation of claims of innocence made by individuals who can be proven innocent via the testing of DNA evidence.

Cory Session
Policy Director

Cory Session currently assists the Innocence Project of Texas on public policy initiatives and community outreach. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991 and worked as a legislative aid for Representative Garfield Thompson from 1991 to 1994. He is the brother of Timothy Cole, who was posthumously exonerated by IPTX in 2009. Cory testified about his family's experience with wrongful convictions during the 81st Texas Legislature, and he made numerous public appearances in order to educate the public about the causes of wrongful convictions and how they can be prevented.  He has continued advocating on behalf of the wrongfully convicted since joining forces with IPTX.  He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jennifer Mirll
Case Director
After obtaining her degree in Philosophy from Texas Tech University, Jennifer Mirll went on to graduate from Texas Tech University School of Law, where she served as President of the Innocence Project of Texas Student Association. Ms Mirll joined the Innocence Project of Texas in 2011 as a student extern and now serves as Case Director for the IPTX.