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Research shows a criminal record can prevent a welfare recipient or other stigmatized job applicant from obtaining employment, and the Capital Area Bar Association recently helped qualifying low-income individuals wipe the slate clean at a Pro Se Expungement Legal Clinic.
In conjunction with the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, the Mississippi Association for Justice, Mississippi State Senator Sollie Norwood, the Metrocenter Mall, and the City of Jackson, CABA sponsored the two free legal assistance events on Oct. 4 and Nov. 4 in Jackson at the Metrocenter Mall’s Event Center.
At the first workshop on Oct. 4, volunteer attorneys outlined charges that qualify for expungement and the judicial process applicants must follow. Low-income people who met financial guidelines for assistance with qualifying charges received invitations to participate in the subsequent legal clinic.
About 100 people attended the first workshop, and a little over half of them received invitations to participate in the legal clinic.
At the Pro Se Expungement Legal Clinic on Nov. 4, volunteer attorneys prepared legal documents necessary to file and complete an expungement and provided other free legal assistance to enable the pre-screened individuals to represent themselves in court.
A record number of volunteer attorneys attended the Oct. 4 workshop.
“CABA’s involvement in pro bono activities like this is significant because it demonstrates support from a local bar association for members of the local community who need assistance but lack the financial resources to obtain legal representation,” Mississippi Access to Justice Commission Executive Director Tiffany M. Graves said.
CABA’s Pro Bono/Community Outreach Committee also plans to sponsor a service project at Stewpot Community Services later this month. More information will be distributed to CABA members once the service project has been finalized.View Event Photos