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.
If I could sum up my experience in the expunction clinic, it would be the old saying, “It’s the little things that matter the most.” On its face, helping someone fill out a form doesn’t sound very glamorous or even important. However, place this task in the context of an expunction clinic, and it becomes the most important task one can do. Sitting before me were people whose lives were going to be transformed simply by having the forms we worked on filed and approved by the court. A criminal record can prevent someone from obtaining the job they deserve. It can even prevent them from getting suitable housing for their families. By having these records expunged, a considerable weight is lifted off of their shoulders. In short, participating in the expunction clinic was life-changing for clients, and I was honored to play a small part in it. To me, equal access to justice means helping clients with the “little things” that they otherwise are unable to address. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of the effort.
Cory Powell, Juris Doctor Candidate 2022