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Expungement Clinic

The Expungement Clinic assists low-income clients in filing applications to seal their criminal record.  These criminal records, often ten or more years old, can present multiple problems for individuals, ranging from the stigma attached to the record to losing out on jobs and opportunities for housing.

The Clinic is staffed by volunteer and paid law students.  These students perform background checks, council clients on their eligibility for sealing, and draft motions on the behalf of the client.  Students learn the important skills of interviewing clients, filing documents with the Court, and managing a case load.  Students with a legal intern certificate may represent clients in Court under the supervision of an attorney. 

The Expungement Clinic co-hosts monthly outreach events in the community with the CQE Clinic.  At past events, we have had over 150 people attend for services.  

Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) Clinic

The Certificate for Qualification of Employment Clinic is a monthly outreach clinic that assists area residents in obtaining a CQE. While a CQE does not guarantee employment, a CQE can be instrumental in helping a person with a conviction gain employment. There is no appointment necessary to attend the Certificate for Qualification of Employment Clinic. Participants are helped in the order they arrive. Each qualified participant meets with a law student to complete the CQE petition.

At the clinic, students interview clients in order to pre-screen the clients for eligibility and assist eligible clients to complete the CQE petition. The student interviews the client about convictions, work history and references. The student uses this information to complete the online CQE application.

Volunteer law students staff the CQE clinic. Each volunteer receives training on the CQE application process. Both the training and clinic count as pro bono of limited means’ hours. If you are a law student interested in additional information or would like to volunteer please contact Professor Joann Sahl, or Alecia Bencze at

For more information, including what is needed for the clinic, click here for the CQE page.

Clemency Project

The Clemency Project assists low-income clients with their efforts to obtain a pardon of their convictions from the Governor of Ohio.  Low-income clients who have multiple convictions are unable to get their criminal records sealed through the judicial process of expungement. Their convictions prevent them from obtaining employment or finding housing. 

The Clemency Project is staffed by volunteer law students. The law students interview the clients and assist the clients with completing their   clemency applications and the accompanying letter to the Governor.

For assistance with a clemency application, please contact Community Legal Aid Services Inc., 800-998-9454. to be referred to the clinic.

Click Here for more information about the clemency process.

Click here for the Clemency page.


Joann Sahl

Russ Nicholas