Our law students recently participated in the Dallas County Expunctions Expo. Attorneys and law students, under the direction of supervising attorneys, volunteered to file expunction petitions for qualifying individuals. This year over 1000 applicants signed-up to participate. The Expo is a sponsored by the District Attorney, The District Clerk and the Public Defender. The expo had a profound effect on our students. Below is a reflection from the experience.
Our student-lead expungement team spent 45 minutes interviewing a client. I add the time because I want to emphasize the short amount of time that we accomplished a task so profound, with a positive impact. Immense impact. The interview process was very low key and professional...we could have been discussing the weather or an assignment at work. However, the powerful outcome of this interview is words I cannot describe. I expected the applicant to argue about the charges, complain about how wronged he was, or blame any other situation on the old arrest. This wasn't the case with our applicant. He was ready to work the process. I say all this because for some of us, it is easy to get caught up in the media's and the public's view of "criminal," or "offender." We should remember that everyone's story is different and nobody is better than anyone else. It was great speaking to the applicant. He was appreciative of the process and the chance to clear his record. It was great learning about him and his family. I was proud to participate in such an important initiative.
JeWelle Huggins, Juris Doctor Candidate 2022