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Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law School
Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law School

SCLC Students Take on Expungement Cases

In an earlier post, we mentioned the work of Stanford Community Law Clinic students in wage and hour cases.  Students also took on quite a few expungement cases last year with great results. Below are the highlights.

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One student successfully represented two clients in their expungement matters by drafting expungement motions, working with the clients to craft their declarations, and culling supporting exhibits and documentation justifying the expungement petitions.  The student was able to get several convictions expunged from the clients’ records.  Both clients were seeking to improve their job prospects and were thrilled with the result.

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Another clinic student represented an expungement client in Santa Clara Superior Court who had an impressive record of rehabilitation.  The client had been a successful business owner and was continuing his education to further his professional interests.  However, his criminal history was still acting as barrier to accomplishing his current goals.  The student represented the client to a successful result by reducing his felony conviction to a misdemeanor and simultaneously expunging the conviction from his client’s RAP sheet. The clinic’s client was very enthusiastic about his prospects for the future.

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A clinic student took on an expungement case representing a client in San Mateo Superior Court with two misdemeanor convictions. Like so many people with a criminal background, the client just wanted to put his past behind him, move forward, and expand his job opportunities.  The student drafted the expungement motions and packaged the materials for filing.  At a subsequent hearing, the student was successful in getting the convictions dismissed from the client’s record. 

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A student worked with an expungement client who had just one conviction on her record, but who was rejected as a job applicant for dozens of jobs due to her background.  The student successfully argued the motion and managed to get the client’s felony reduced to a misdemeanor, as well as expunged from the record.  The client was moved to tears by the result and the judge went out of her way to compliment and congratulate the client on her progress.

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One clinic student successfully represented an expungement client who had convictions in Santa Clara County.  The client was already employed doing electrical installations, but sought expungement to expand the types of contractors he could work with in the field since his background was limiting his professional opportunities.  In addition to the successful expungement, the student also did a significant amount of research and writing on alternate routes for judges to exercise their discretion to grant expungements.  The clinic’s client was excited about the successful result and putting his past behind him.

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