The Criminal Record Expungement Project (C-REP) aims to ameliorate the negative effects of criminal records on the Philadelphia community as it is increasingly difficult for individuals with a criminal record to pursue employment, housing, benefits, and educational opportunities.
What we do:
C-REP works with Philadelphians who have criminal records by conducting intake clinics for clients, processing intake applications, and filing petitions to expunge and redact non-conviction data from clients’ criminal records. C-REP has also been working to expand the ability of 2Ls and 3Ls to appear in court on behalf of our clients.
How we do it:
C-REP partners with the Philadelphia Lawyer’s for Social Equity (“PLSE”), a non-profit legal aid organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income individuals who are affected by the Pennsylvania criminal justice system. There are three intake clinics per semester, which take place on Saturdays in West Philadelphia. During the clinics, volunteers meet with clients, listen to their stories and experiences, and screen their criminal records for expungement-eligible (i.e. non-conviction) charges. Volunteers may sign up for one or more clinic, depending on interest and availability. Volunteers who attend the relevant trainings may also draft expungement petitions, and 2Ls and 3Ls may litigate cases in court.
How and when can I join:
Visit C-REP at the fall pro bono sign-up fair, and look out for trainings in the fall semester. The time commitment for this project is flexible. Interested volunteers may also email the Co-Chairs, Casey Stewart and Noah Schoenholtz.
What skills will I develop:
Criminal justice, interviewing & intake, client counseling, working with vulnerable clients, draft court pleadings, in-court advocacy, community engagement.
The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.