BBA Launches Virtual CORI Sealing Clinic

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) often traps people in a cycle of poverty and unemployment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this cycle is more prevalent than ever. However, a CORI record may contain charges that can be “sealed” or expunged so that employers or housing providers cannot see those charges. Our CORI Sealing Clinic connects low-income clients who have questions about their criminal records with volunteer attorneys who can help. The clinic has now been adapted to a remote format via Zoom. Clients can receive assistance with obtaining, reviewing, and, if advised, sealing or expunging their records.  

 On October 1st, in partnership with GBLS, the BBA hosted a training geared toward attorneys interested in volunteering for the clinic. This training covered topics such as: 

• CORI and the various levels of access to CORI by employers and others 
• The waiting periods to seal records 
• How to seal criminal and juvenile records through the administrative process 
• How to seal criminal records in court 
• How to expunge records and how expungement differs from sealing 
• New FBI provisions in the law related to CORI 
• How to effectively assist clients at the clinic, fill out forms properly, and offer clients good legal advice 

On October 14, 2020, the BBA and GBLS hosted our first virtual CORI Sealing Clinic! With the help of GBLS Staff attorneys, we were able to get the virtual clinic up and running and assist several clients with filling out the proper CORI request forms. As part of the clinic we will refer clients volunteer attorneys to assist with sealing and/or expungement. The virtual clinic will take place every other Wednesday and we look forward to continuing to assist the community remotely!  

If you are an attorney who would like to volunteer with this clinic, please contact Chane Vanes at cvanes@bostonbar.org.  If you are a client interested in meeting with a volunteer attorney as part of the clinic, please sign up here.