Criminal expungement is the sealing of criminal records. Going through this process can be life changing for clients as it removes barriers to finding stable housing and jobs. VLN’s Criminal Expungement Team connects low-income clients with volunteer attorneys who provide them with high-quality, free expungement legal services.
What we do:
- Train, support, and engage volunteer attorneys to take on pro bono criminal expungements
- Provide educational seminars on criminal expungement to community members and service providers
- Screen clients’ records, give them advice on the expungement process, and place them for legal services if they qualify
- Host criminal expungement clinics
- Work with law firms, corporations, and organizations to provide more opportunities to clients and recruit volunteers
If you have questions about volunteering or about the program, please contact the program manager at [email protected].
Volunteer attorneys fully represent criminal expungement clients. A client with one criminal record to expunge will be a time commitment of about 10-15 hours over 8 months. Most clients have more than one record. You will interview the client, prepare the expungement petition using a document generation program, serve and file the petition, and represent the client in a potential court hearing. This process is intended for pro se litigants to navigate themselves, however many find it a confusing and intimidating process. This means an attorney who has never been in court can take on a criminal expungement client. We provide period CLEs and live trainings, but you do not have to attend one before you take your first case. We will provide you with training materials and one-on-one support so you can successfully complete your case.
You can provide all remote services to your client right now, including court hearings. If you would like to meet with your client in-person, please ensure they are comfortable with this and use COVID-19 safety precautions such as wearing a mask and social distancing.