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Katherine Barnwell

Bexar County District Attorney’s Office – Conviction Integrity Unit

Katherine Barnwell

How did you get your job? 

I got this job through the OCI Mock Interview program. When I signed up for a Government/Public Service Mock Interview, I didn’t know who I would be interviewing. I knew I was interested in criminal law, specifically post-conviction matters, so when I was interviewed by Mr. Howard, the Director of the Conviction Integrity Unit, I was so excited! I thought it would be the perfect place to gain experience and find a path I may want to take after graduation. 

What was the most surprising thing you learned at your job? 

That the Conviction Integrity Unit existed! The type of work they do is so much more than the post-conviction cases that may be portrayed in the media. The CIU helps with all types of situations; as long as there is a final conviction and it’s in Bexar County, one can apply for CIU review. 

How do you think this experience has helped you in your career path? 

I came into law school very interested in post-conviction matters. This position has allowed me to explore post-conviction work in various ways. I have received assignments in all types of post-conviction cases, from applicants convicted of felonies trying to get habeas corpus relief to applicants convicted of misdemeanors but would like to apply for some nondisclosure.

What do/did you like most about your job?  

The variety of assignments is what I love most about working with this unit. I want to help people who need it the most, and I feel this unit provides a great opportunity for me. 

How did you interact with your co-workers? 

We all work in person, with an option to work some days remotely. It is a small office with two attorneys, so we work very closely on projects. I receive a lot of feedback on assignments and am involved with almost everything the office has going on. I am typically invited to meetings with other parts of the DA’s office and am always encouraged to come along to meet people.