Jacqueline McMurtrie joined the faculty in 1989 after a career as a public defender. She is the founder and Director of the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW), a law school clinic providing legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove their innocence and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions. The IPNW's recent successes include the exonerations of 4 clients who served a combined total of 47 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. Professor McMurtrie is a founding member of the Innocence Network and serves on its Board of Directors. She also co-chairs the Innocence Network Committee on Amicus Policies.
In 2012, Professor McMurtrie received the University of Washington Outstanding Public Service Award, which recognizes UW faculty and staff members who exhibit exemplary contributions to the common good through public service. In 2011, Professor McMurtrie and other members of the IPNW Clinic received a Champion of Justice Award from the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. She was recognized as a Friend of the Judiciary in 2010 by the King County Washington Women Lawyers and received a President's Award from the Washington Defender Association in 2009. Professor McMurtrie has also been recognized as a Washington State Super Lawyer and as a Philip A. Trautman Teacher of the Year.
Professor McMurtrie's research and teaching interests revolve primarily around criminal law and appellate/post-conviction practice, with an emphasis on wrongful convictions. Her articles have been cited by the Connecticut, Iowa, Tennessee, Utah and Washington Supreme Courts. Professor McMurtrie has a particular interest in exploring reform of the indigent defense system. She is the incoming Chair of the Washington State Bar Association Council on Public Defense and has served on the committee since 2005. Professor McMurtrie obtained her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan.