Is your Organization Interested in Hosting an Expungement Clinic?
Community Legal Services hosts expungement clinics with a variety of partners in different communities across Philadelphia. Our clinics run in partnership with students from Temple Law School and Community College of Philadelphia’s paralegal program. Because of this, we base our clinic schedule on the school year. We generally have the capacity to host 3 to 4 clinics per semester and 1 or 2 clinics in the summer.
We get many requests for clinics and we unfortunately do not have the resources to host clinics with everyone. We do our best, but if we are unable to do a clinic with your group, we may be able to do a community education workshop on the expungement process with you. We ask all potential partners to fill out the questionnaire below to help us ensure that our expungement clinics are impactful. We will get back to you within 15 days.
1. What is an expungement?
An expungement is a legal process that allows a person to clear certain cases from their criminal record. Generally speaking, a person can expunge any non-conviction arrest from their record and summary convictions after 5 years. Some people may be able to seal misdemeanor convictions as well. When a case is sealed, it is no longer available to the public but the courts and police may be able to see it. Please see this page for more information about expungements.
2. What happens at a clinic?
We screen clinic participant’s criminal records to see if they can be cleared or partially cleared with an expungement. If their record can be expunged, we take all of their information so that we can start the expungement process.
3. What does my organization need to do if it wants to host a clinic?
Please fill out the questionnaire above. If we are able to hold a clinic with you, we would need help with outreach to your community and logistics the day of the clinic.
4. How long are your clinics?
Our clinics usually last 2 or 3 hours
5. How quickly is someone’s record expunged after your clinic?
We make final representation decisions within 30 days of the clinic and notify participants by mail of our decision. Once we file an expungement, it takes about 6 months to prepare the expungement petitions, get a court date, appear in front of a judge, and get the expungement ordered. It usually takes several more months for the state and local police to expunge a record after that.
6. How many clinics do you hold a year?
We hold approximately 7 to 10 clinics a year.
7. Are there restrictions on who you can help?
We can only serve people who meet the following criteria:
- Live in Philadelphia
- Have a criminal record in Philadelphia
- Have an income below 187.5% of the Federal Poverty Line (in 2017, this is just below $45,500 for a family of 4).
8. If I host a clinic, what does my organization have to do?
We ask our host organizations to do a few things:
- Provide space for the clinic
- Advertise to your members, community partners, and in your community. We rely on our clinic hosts to do the bulk of the advertising and turning people out.
- Have several people on staff during the clinic to help with logistics
9. Is this a free service?
Questions: Please contact Sherlyn Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org