Students from the University of Kansas School of Law will help people seek expungement of criminal records, free of charge for those who qualify.
Expungements can seal arrest records or convictions from public view. Not all convictions are eligible, but legal interns and staff attorneys will help people determine if it might be an option for them, according to a Monday news release.
The clinic can help people seeking to expunge records in in Douglas County District Court and/or Lawrence Municipal Court.
“Criminal record expungement is such an important possibility under Kansas law for individuals who have completed their sentences, made changes in their lives, and who are now seeking to move beyond the stigma and barriers resulting from those past mistakes,” Melanie Daily, director of the Legal Aid Clinic at KU Law, said in the release. “It can be life-changing.”
The KU Legal Aid Clinic will hold virtual “intake” days from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3. Call 785-864-5564 during those windows.
People who aren’t available at those times can also schedule an in-person or Zoom meeting during the first two weeks of March to complete a screening, also by calling 785-864-5564.
The clinic can accept clients whose incomes are up to 250% of the federal poverty level, according to the release.
“Clients who do not qualify for a waiver of the filing fee will need to pay those court costs, but no attorney’s fees, as long as they are eligible for services,” according to the release.
After the intake clinic, clients will need to attend one more appointment and any required court hearings with their attorney.
“A criminal record can make it difficult to get a lease or to find employment – the basics for building a life in a community,” Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said in the release. “The second chance offered by an expungement should not be limited to those with the means to pay an attorney to help them navigate the system. We are honored to co-host this event with the Legal Aid Clinic.”