Pardon, Clemency, and Expungement Clinic

The Pardon, Clemency and Expungement Clinic aims to help indigent individuals in Northeast Ohio continue to redefine themselves and their futures after a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction in Ohio can carry with it not only a stigma, but real-life professional, educational, and health related impacts known as “collateral consequences” that effectively render individuals with a criminal conviction to a second class citizenry. Unable to obtain greater educational or professional advancements contributes to an individuals propensity for recidivism, and more, affects the security and stability of their family. The goal of the Clinic is to use multiple post-conviction remedies to help remove the stigmas and road-blocks facing individuals with criminal convictions.

Students in the Pardon, Clemency and Expungement Clinic, under the Supervision of the Director, will represent individual clients seeking pardon or clemency from the Ohio governor, represent individuals seeking expungement of prior convictions, and/or assist in petitions for other post-conviction relief. They will engage in each phase of representation, from client interviews, to determining case strategies, to drafting motions, petitions, and applications before various municipal and county venues.

Students are also encouraged to participate in Community Outreach events where they can meet potential clients and provide on the spot eligibility assessments.

In addition to weekly case-related work, students attend a weekly seminar where they will receive substantive lectures, targeted skills training, discuss process and procedure, participate in collaborative lawyering, and hear from practitioners, Judges, Justices and others involved in the Criminal Justice System.

The Pardon, Clemency, and Expungement Clinic is taught by Attorney Arcola Whatley, whose practiced in a wide variety of civil litigation areas but has a concentrated experience in adult and juvenile record sealing matters.

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