Friend of the Indiana appellate and post-conviction advocate

About Us

Cara Schaefer Wieneke

After graduating from Indiana University, where she majored in Criminal Justice, Cara attended law school at the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. She was a member of the Indiana Law Review, was named to the Order of Barristers in the school-wide moot court competition, received an award for her dedicated to pro bono service, was included in the Who’s Who: American Law Students in 2002, and was president of the Law Students Against Capital Punishment. She graduated summa cum laude in 2003.

As an attorney, Cara served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Margret G. Robb on the Court of Appeals of Indiana. After a brief stint at a family law firm, Cara devoted her practice to providing legal representation for criminal defendants at the appellate and post-conviction stages. As a deputy state public defender, she focused exclusively on representing clients during the post-conviction process. After leaving the State Public Defender’s Office, Cara opened her own firm. She is currently the managing member of the Wieneke Law Office, LLC, where she handles indigent appellate and post-conviction cases from all over the state.

Cara is admitted to practice law in the State of Indiana, the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, and the Supreme Court of the United States. She is the author of the Sex Offender Pamphlet, a resource on offender registration issues for criminal defense attorneys. She is a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Scribes – the American Society of Legal Writers. She has handled over 200 appeals, participated in 15 oral arguments before Indiana’s appellate courts, been a presenter at numerous seminars for criminal defense attorneys, and practiced in nearly every county in the state.

Joel C. Wieneke

After graduating from Indiana State University, where in majored in History, Joel attended law school at the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. As an attorney, Joel worked for Michael Sutherlin, handling civil rights cases, before he began clerking for the Honorable Patricia A. Riley on the Court of Appeals of Indiana. Joel eventually joined Cara in practice, where he handles criminal cases at the trial, appellate, and post-conviction levels. Joel also works for the Indiana Public Defender Council’s Juvenile Defense Project, a program funded by a federal grant to assist and improve juvenile defense services in Indiana’s courts to ensure that every child has access to this critical legal help.

Joel is admitted to practice law in the State of Indiana. He has handled dozens of appeals and participated in multiple oral arguments in Indiana’s appellate courts, as well as presented at multiple seminars for criminal defense attorneys.