Laura Caldwell

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Laura Caldwell is a former civil trial lawyer who is now a law professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, director of Life After Innocence, published author of 14 novels and one non-fiction book (to date). Her latest book, The Dog Park, was released in 2014.

With novels published in over 25 countries and translated into more than 13 languages, Caldwell had left the law behind, or so she thought. Research on her sixth novel led her to the criminal case of a young man sitting in a Cook County holding cell for nearly six years without a trial. Compelled by his story, Caldwell joined a renowned criminal defense attorney to defend him, ultimately proving his innocence and inspiring her first nonfiction book, Long Way Home: A Young Man Lost in the System and the Two Women Who Found Him (Free Press, Simon & Schuster).

By working with him and witnessing his intense struggle to assimilate into a now foreign and unfriendly world, Caldwell became keenly aware that while many programs are available for ex-offenders after their release, the innocent in most states receive no assistance. As a champion for the innocent, Caldwell was moved to create ‘Life After Innocence,’ an innovative and first-of-its-kind program that aids exonerees—people who have been wrongfully convicted and later found completely innocent—to begin their lives again and reclaim their rights as citizens.

Caldwell’s fictional work began in the ‘chick lit’ genre, and she soon turned to writing mysteries and thrillers, most recently focusing her attention on a returning character, Izzy McNeil. The series has received critical acclaim and nominations for prestigious industry awards. Caldwell is also a freelance magazine writer and has been widely published both domestically and internationally.


Caldwell graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa and earned her J.D. with honors from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.


Caldwell speaks nationally, empowering audiences to overcome adversity by sharing the stories of her Life After Innocence clients and how they went from wrongfully imprisoned to regaining their lives.


Caldwell is a published author of 14 novels and one nonfiction:

The Dog Park (2014, Mira) False Impressions (2012, Mira) Question of Trust (2012, Mira) Claim of Innocence (2011, Mira) Long Way Home (2010, Free Press) Red White & Dead (2009, Mira) Red Blooded Murder (2009, Mira) Red Hot Lies (2009, Mira) The Good Liar (2008, Mira) The Rome Affair (2006, Mira) The Night I Got Lucky (2005, Red Dress Ink) Look Closely (2005, Mira) The Year of Living Famously (2004, Mira) A Clean Slate (2003, Red Dress Ink) Burning The Map (2002, Mira)

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Caldwell, who lives in Chicago, continues to write and bring about change in the legal system through Life After Innocence.