KU Legal Aid plans clinic to help expunge legal records for little to no cost

FILE - University of Kansas
FILE - University of Kansas(WIBW)
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 9:46 AM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - The University of Kansas, Douglas Co. District Attorney’s Office and Lawrence Public Library have teamed up to help expunge legal records with little to no cost through a clinic in September.

The University of Kansas says the School of Law’s Legal Aid Clinic will host a Clean Slate Criminal Record Expungement Clinic with the Douglas Co. District Attorney’s Office and the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., from noon to 3 p.m. on Sept. 12.

“We are so excited to partner once again with the District Attorney’s Office and, for the first time, to partner with the Lawrence Public Library to offer this streamlined expungement process to the community,” said Melanie Daily, director of the Legal Aid Clinic at KU.

KU noted that the expungement seals an arrest record, diversion, or conviction from public view with certain exceptions. It said the Legal Aid Clinic will provide free representation to those eligible who seek to expunge records in Douglas Co. District Court or the Lawrence Municipal Court.

“For those who are eligible, expungement can have life-changing consequences. Individuals who achieve expungement can apply for better jobs, volunteer their time, obtain better housing and participate in our community in so many more productive ways once their records are cleared to reflect who they are now, rather than what they did long ago. Working together with the DA’s office allows us to counsel and represent more people, more efficiently, so people can get through court and move on with their lives,” Daily said.

The University indicated that the clinic can accept clients with an income of up to 250% of the federal poverty level. Those who qualify for representation, but do not qualify for a waiver of the court’s per-case filing fee will need to pay the court fee - but no attorney’s fees - as long as they are eligible for service.

After the intake clinic day at the library, KU said clients will need to attend one additional appointment and any required court hearings with their Legal Aid attorney.

“This expungement clinic is a meaningful opportunity for those with criminal records to get a true second chance,” said Suzanne Valdez, Douglas County District Attorney. “We are fortunate to be able to partner with the Legal Aid Clinic to help make our communities safer and stronger by supporting those who have committed themselves to change.”

For more information about the clinic or expungement eligibility, contact the Legal Aid Clinic at 785-864-5564.