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 have any questions, or would like to volunteer, please contact Chane Vanes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Pro Bono Recruitment Fair & Open House:
The annual Pro Bono Recruitment Fair & Open House for attorneys and law students with Suffolk University Law School is still on! Join us via Zoom for this annual program that connects legal service organizations and those interested in giving back.
This event, sponsored by the Boston Bar Association and Suffolk University Law School, provides attorneys and law students with a range of pro bono opportunities. The fair is held as part of the National Pro Bono Celebration sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
Attendees are encouraged to drop in and e-meet representatives from local legal services organizations and to learn more about the pro bono opportunities in our community. This event is offered to attorneys of all levels, as well as law students.
Please see below for a list of participating organizations. More organizations will be added in advance of the program. For legal services providers interested in tabling at the event, please contact Sarah Bookbinder at email@example.com.
- Boston Tax Coalition
- Conservation Law Foundation
- DOVE, Inc.
- Political Asylum/Immigrant Representation Project
- Project Citizenship
- Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
- Women’s Bar Association
- Casa Myrna
- Committee for Public Counsel Services
- Greater Boston Legal Services
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
- Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office
- Victim Rights Law Center