Expungement clinic coming to Lawrence library in September; KU Law students can help seal criminal records

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Students from the University of Kansas School of Law will help people seek expungement of their criminal records, free of charge for those who qualify, during a clinic on Sept. 12.

Expungements can seal arrest records or convictions from public view. Not all convictions are eligible, but legal interns and staff attorneys can help people determine if it might be an option for them, according to a news release from KU.

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The clinic is set for noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12 in the auditorium of the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. It can help people seeking to expunge records in in Douglas County District Court and/or Lawrence Municipal Court.

The clinic can accept clients whose incomes are up to 250% of the federal poverty level, according to the release.

“Clients who qualify for Legal Aid Clinic representation but who do not qualify for a waiver of the court’s per-case filing fee will need to pay that court fee, but no attorney’s fees, as long as they are eligible for services,” according to the release.

“We are so excited to partner once again with the District Attorney’s Office and, for the first time, to partner with the Lawrence Public Library to offer this streamlined expungement process to the community,” Melanie Daily, director of the Legal Aid Clinic at KU, said in the release.

After the intake clinic at the library, clients will need to attend one more appointment and any required court hearings with their attorney.

“This expungement clinic is a meaningful opportunity for those with criminal records to get a true second chance,” Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said in the release. “We are fortunate to be able to partner with the Legal Aid Clinic to help make our communities safer and stronger by supporting those who have committed themselves to change.”

For questions about the clinic and expungement eligibility, call 785-864-5564.

“For those who are eligible, expungement can have life-changing consequences,” Daily said in the release. “Individuals who achieve expungement can apply for better jobs, volunteer their time, obtain better housing and participate in our community in so many more productive ways once their records are cleared to reflect who they are now, rather than what they did long ago.”

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