Labor and Employment associate Matthew Fontana served as a site leader for a pro-bono Criminal Record Expungement & Sealing Clinic, hosted by the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Individuals with prior arrests and/or old misdemeanor convictions, who wished to remove the offenses from their public record or seal the items from the general public were invited to come to the clinic on November 12. The program partnered with Community Legal Services and the City of Philadelphia. 1,853 people registered for the free clinic, while 175 lawyers, paralegals and law students volunteered for the six locations across the city. Matthew served as site leader at the Waterview Recreation Center in Germantown.
The successful clinic comes on the heels of two significant events shaping Philadelphia’s future. The city received a $3.5 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation to reduce the city’s prison population by a third and make sure those released don’t return to prison. Pennsylvania’s Act 5 will allow people with minor offenses to request the courts to seal their records instead of requiring a pardon from the governor.