As part of our fight for racial justice, the Lawyers’ Committee has historically engaged the racial and civil rights inequities of the criminal justice and public education systems, disparities in access to public contracts for minority and women contractors, efforts to limit voting rights, and more. Through a multi-pronged approach, we tackle these issues in myriad ways including direct services.
To date, the Lawyers’ Committee’s criminal justice reform efforts have focused on issues related to the community reentry and reintegration following contact with the criminal justice system. In 2011, we launched the Second Chance Legal Clinic to provide free reentry legal services to people who have prior arrests or convictions, assisting in areas such as criminal record “expungement,” housing and employment rights, occupational licensing, driver’s licenses, and background checks. Because these services address the civil consequences of the criminal justice system, we are able to leverage the immense resources of the private bar to meet the needs of our client community.
The Second Chance Legal Clinic helps with the following issues:
- Criminal record remedies (“expungement”)
- Housing and Employment rights
- Occupational licensing
- Driver’s licenses
- Criminal background reports
- Public and private housing applications and denials
- Driver’s license suspensions
Clients receive free brief services and legal advice, with the possibility of placement with a pro bono attorney for additional representation, where needed.
Education Advocacy project
The Education Advocacy Project (EAP) seeks to secure equal education opportunity for low-income students and students of color by, among other things, providing free legal representation in disputes with school districts, primarily in the areas of special education and school discipline. The project trains parents, providers, and pro bono counsel on the rights of students who are in need of special education services or are facing expulsion, and provides direct representation to students who want to challenge educational decisions that will significantly impact their academic success and post-secondary options. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.