New permanent expungement clinic opening at U of M Law School
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s the first of its kind in West Tennessee.
The University of Memphis Law School is launching this region’s first-ever expungement clinic.
Over the years, Memphis has hosted its fair share of one-day expungement clinics.
Thousands of people have lined up in hopes someone could help them wipe their records clean.
“This is going to be ongoing, so people don’t have to wait on a certain day or annual event in a year’s time it’s going to be a service available all throughout the week,” said Amber Floyd, director of the new University of Memphis Expungement and restoration rights clinic.
The clinic will be staffed by the city’s future legal minds.
“I jumped right on the application, like this is something I need to do,” said third-year U of M law student Micah Traylor who will be one of four students working with residents to expunge records, restore voting rights, and reinstate driver’s licenses.
I was helping a client with a driver’s license restoration, and I saw him drive in and I thought that was really interesting to see,” said U of M law student and volunteer Fares Elkhayyat, “These people need to get to places, they need to get their driver’s license restored, they don’t have anyone to drive them places.”
The clinic’s director says probably the most important work these students and staff will focus on is the request to waive court fees. “I’ve worked with individuals that may owe 30,000 dollars. I’ve worked with individuals that may owe 5,000 dollars in one case and as you can imagine that can be a huge barrier for individuals,” said Floyd.
Floyd says it’s a valuable service for those re-entering society and for the students who will be helping them do it successfully.
“When you get to reach out to the clients who have a need for services. You remember why you came,” said Traylor.
Floyd says most clients have no idea that court fee waivers are even an option.
While it is a judge’s discretion whether or not to grant a waiver, having someone walk you through the process is valuable.
If you’re interested in the expungement clinic, you are asked to go through the Memphis Area Legal Services: Home - Memphis Area Legal Services (malsi.org)
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