John Marshall Law School Pro Bono Clinic Helps Expunge Hundreds of Criminal Records for Juveniles

Chicago, May 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Pro Bono Program & Clinic at The John Marshall Law School filed 245 petitions for expungements of juvenile criminal records over the last two years. The petitions were filed on behalf of 69 youths living in areas of the city of Chicago with the highest crime rates.  All of the petitions were granted, giving these individuals the opportunity to start their lives anew and putting them in a better position to succeed in life.

A juvenile record can follow youth into their adult years and be a significant barrier to employment, housing and other opportunities. Many employers will not hire someone with a criminal record. Also, many landlords will not rent to a person with a criminal conviction.

"Having a criminal record is a barrier to success and housing. The Pro Bono Clinic is committed to providing expungement and sealing services to adults and juveniles in need to help ensure that they can reach their full potential,” said Kelly B. Lindstrom, staff attorney at The John Marshall Law School Pro Bono Clinic. 

The Pro Bono Program & Clinic has partnered with West Care Foundation in the Chicago Face Forward Initiative, which is designed to break the cycle of poverty, crime and unemployment that plagues Chicago’s inner city. West Care provides social services to individuals who are court involved. The role of the Pro Bono Program & Clinic is to provide juvenile expungement services to clients of West Care.  The John Marshall Law School students and staff attorney have assisted these juveniles by assessing their records for eligibility, completing the necessary paperwork and then appearing in Juvenile Court on their behalf. 

The Clinic also has helped over 30 adult clients this year with clearing their criminal records.

About John Marshall’s Pro Bono Program & Clinic 
The Pro Bono Program & Clinic is the largest of John Marshall’s nine Community Legal Clinics, offering law students the opportunity to develop real legal experience in a myriad of legal matters, while embracing the school’s mission of providing access to justice. John Marshall encourages its students to participate in pro bono work to foster commitment to community service, both during law school and after graduation. By cultivating a culture of service, John Marshall’s Pro Bono Program & Clinic not only provides a valuable resource for clients in need, it also prepares students for a life of purposeful citizenship.


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