The Boston Bar Association is excited to announce the continuation of our monthly CORI Sealing Clinic in to 2020. Our CORI Sealing Clinic assists low-income clients in asking courts to seal their criminal records with help from volunteer attorneys. The BBA conducts this clinic along with our partner, Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS).
A CORI(Criminal Offender Record Information)
report is the official log of any charges brought against someone by the state
of Massachusetts. CORI reports can be used by employers and landlords to deny
people access to employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
law allows people to “seal” their CORI records from public view by meeting
certain legal requirements. The BBA’s CORI Sealing Clinic will help low-income
individuals get copies of their CORI and seal their past records when possible.
BBA’s CORI Sealing Clinic will be located at:
Edward W. Brooke
Boston Municipal Court, Central Division
24 New Chardon St. 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Walk-in clinics will take place from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on the following dates. No advance registration is required.
Earlier this year, the Boston Bar Association in collaboration
with the Greater Boston Legal Services launched a monthly CORI Sealing Clinic
that assists low-income clients in asking courts to seal their criminal
records. The clinic is held monthly at the
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in downtown Boston and clients can receive
assistance with obtaining, reviewing, and, if advised, sealing or expunging
their records. With the help from our volunteer attorneys, we have
helped nearly 100 members of the community remove the barriers of a CORI in
order to be in a better position to obtain jobs, housing, educational
We would like to thank our volunteer attorneys, law students,
paralegals, and summer associates for dedicating time and hard work to
assisting members of the community in need.
Doucette (Anderson & Kreiger Summer Associate)
Rosenblatt (Sullivan & Worcester)
Bombaugh (Sullivan & Worcester)
Dinning (Anderson & Kreiger)
Finklea (Liberty Mutual)
Cunha (Liberty Mutual)
Dennis (Greater Boston Legal Services)
Wise (Liberty Mutual)
Robinson (New England Law Student)
This project was made
possible through collaboration with the private bar, legal services agencies,
law schools and the court system. The BBA is grateful for the support of
sponsor firms Sullivan &
Worcester LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP , who have committed to
staffing the clinic with volunteer attorneys during its pilot phase. The launch
of this clinic would also not be possible without the expertise of Greater
Boston Legal Services’ CORI & Re-Entry Project Director Pauline Quirion and
New England Law Center for Law and Social Responsibility Director David
If you are an attorney interested in volunteering with the CORI Sealing Clinic, please click here for more information.
Criminal records are often an obstacle to qualified individuals obtaining housing or employment. And since having a job and a permanent place to live are correlated with successful re-entry, individuals with a publicly-accessible CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) record have greater rates of recidivism.
The Boston Bar Association highlighted
the importance of reforms to the length of time that people must wait before
their CORI can be sealed, along with other key criminal justice reforms, in our
2017 report No Time to
Wait: Recommendations for a Fair and Efficient Criminal
Justice System. The report advocated
for a reduction in the amount of time individuals must wait to seal their CORI
records. In 2018 the Massachusetts Legislature, with the support of Governor
Charlie Baker, did indeed reduce the waiting time to seal criminal records; the
previous wait time of five years to seal misdemeanors was reduced to three
years, and the wait time of ten years to seal felonies was reduced to seven
This past February, the BBA launched a
CORI Sealing Pilot Project in partnership with Greater Boston
Legal Services. The project relies on
volunteer attorneys, who assist low-income clients in obtaining, reviewing,
and, if eligible, sealing and expunging their CORI records. So far, the CORI Sealing
Clinic has helped more than 50 individuals seeking to seal their criminal
records. This is a critical service, as sealing can remove or mitigate the
barrier that CORI records pose to obtaining housing and employment. Thank you to our partners, Pepper
Hamilton LLP and Sullivan
& Worcester LLP for collaborating
with us on this project and engaging their attorneys as volunteers.
The Boston Bar Association’s CORI
Sealing Clinic takes place the first Wednesday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00
p.m. at the Boston Municipal Court – Central Division (24 New Chardon Street, 2nd
Floor). The clinic would not be possible without the help of our volunteer
attorneys. These attorneys can have a life-changing impact when they assist in
sealing records. Volunteering also allows attorneys to connect with fellow
practitioners and gain clinic experience in a new area of law.
Volunteers will be trained in
advance on CORI laws and procedures and are able to sign up for the clinic
dates that work best for their schedules. If you are interested in
volunteering, please contact Hannah Poor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BBA hosted its sixth CORI Sealing Clinic at the Brooke Courthouse on July 3rd. Since February, the clinic has assisted more than 50 people seeking to seal their criminal records. As CORIs can be a significant barrier to housing, employment, and educational opportunities, volunteering at the CORI Sealing Clinic is an important way that attorneys can offer their services to the public.
The BBA’s CORI Sealing Clinic takes place the first Wednesday of every month at the Brooke Courthouse. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Hannah Poor.
Thank you to Greater Boston Legal Services for partnering with us on the CORI Sealing Clinic!
The BBA’s CORI Sealing Clinic, which launched in January 2019, will have its fifth clinic date next Wednesday, June 5, at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse. This project, which engages volunteer attorneys in helping low-income clients seal their criminal records through the courts, has assisted close to 40 people over the past four months. We are excited to have volunteers from BBA Sponsor Firm Pepper Hamilton staff the clinic next week!
Such assistance is critical, as prior criminal records can create barriers to obtaining housing, employment, and educational opportunities. Massachusetts law permits people with a criminal record to have their records “sealed” from public view after a waiting period by meeting certain legal requirements. The CORI Sealing Clinic helps those who may not be able to undertake this process without the assistance of an attorney, but cannot afford to pay for counsel.
To learn more about the program, click here. If you are interested in volunteering with the clinic, please email Hannah Poor at email@example.com.
Ahead of the Boston Bar Association’s first CORI Sealing Clinic over 50 attorneys and law students attended a training to learn about the sealing process. As many of the potential volunteers were new to this topic, Agapi Koulouris (Department of Criminal Justice Information Services) opened by reviewing precisely what information is kept on a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) and the visibility of that information to potential employers or housing providers. Following Koulouris, Sarah Joss (Office of the Commissioner of Probation) reviewed the administrative sealing process, which individuals can pursue when they have met the sealing waiting periods. These waiting periods were recently decreased (from 5 years to 3 years for a misdemeanor and from 10 years to 7 years for a felony) with the passage of the Criminal Justice Reform Bill last year. To start, the BBA’s clinic will primarily assist clients with obtaining their CORI and administrative sealing, and then it will transition into assisting clients with sealing prior to hitting their waiting period benchmark. Pauline Quirion and Vanessa Dennis (Greater Boston Legal Services) reviewed that process and also touched on the new expungement laws related to juvenile and certain adult criminal records. David Siegel (New England Law | Boston) moderated the panel and encouraged attendees to volunteer for the clinic.
At the first clinic on February 6th, five clients
were assisted by our volunteers. These individuals were seeking help requesting
their CORI and navigating the administrative sealing process. We anticipate
that a few of those individuals will return to the clinic for follow-up and
that we’ll see more clients visit in the coming months.
The clinic will take place every first Wednesday of the month from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the Edward Brooke Courthouse. If you or your firm is interested in becoming involved, contact Cassandra Shavney at firstname.lastname@example.org