An Akron law student assists a client at a Reentry Clinic.
The University of Akron School of Law’s Reentry Clinic, recently honored as one of the Top 15 Innovative Clinics, provides premier experiences for law students seeking to make a difference in society. It was also recognized by the American Association of Law Schools as an
Innovative and Outstanding Program in 2015.
The clinics prepare Akron Law students for a career in the public sector. Our students are able to begin working with clients in their first year of school. Due to the important services that this clinic provides and the law school’s commitment to clinical offerings, approximately 100 law students are trained to provide service through the clinic each year.
The Reentry Clinic recently was awarded a Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP) grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant will allow the Reentry Clinic to provide service to both adults and youths in our community.
Four Reentry Clinics
1. Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE)
The CQE clinic is staffed by volunteer students under the supervision of a clinic faculty member. During CQE clinics, law students meet with clients who have criminal convictions and assist them in applying for a Certificate of Qualification for Employment. In many cases, the law had previously prohibited these ex-offenders from holding certain types of employment or professional licenses. The CQE allows the prospective employer or the licensing authority, in its discretion, to employ or license the ex-offender who holds the Certificate. This program gives our students access to a diverse range of people in the greater Akron community. In doing this, our students help people in a very real way while gaining valuable client experience for the future.
The CQE clinic recently conducted a survey of Ohio CQE recipients to determine the applicants' success in using the CQE to find or to keep employment. Read the survey results.
Akron Law’s groundbreaking CQE Clinic is going statewide, with support from the Ohio State Bar Foundation:
2. Expungement Clinic
The Expungement Clinic is comprised of volunteer law students under the supervision of an attorney. Students working in this clinic gain real world experience by serving low-income Akron residents who seek to have their convictions sealed by the court. As a volunteer in this clinic, you could expect to conduct background searches, develop relationships with clients, and represent the client in the courtroom.
3. Clemency Project
The Clemency Project provides assistance to low-income ex-offenders who seek a pardon for their convictions. Akron Law students in this clinic are trained to handle pardon applications to the Governor. Students continue the client relationship by representing the client at their formal pardon hearing under the supervision of Professor Joann Sahl.
4. Human Trafficking Clinic
The Human Trafficking Clinic assists victims of human trafficking to expunge (destroy) their criminal records. Typically, victims of human trafficking are likely to have convictions for solicitation or prostitution, which were forced upon them by the traffickers. As a part of this clinic, our students conduct investigations and screen for potential clients. Our students then follow up with clients and conduct investigations. Like Akron Law’s other clinics, the Human Trafficking Clinic offers students real-life practice and a new life to those in need.
In the news
Akron Law legal clinics continue to serve, undeterred by the pandemic (3/15/2021)
WKSU-FM (NPR): Ohio Offers a Second Chance to Drivers Struggling to Reinstate Their Licenses (12/24/2019)
Akron Law to collaborate with Ohio Governor and Ohio State University Moritz School of Law to expedite pardon application process (12/3/2019)
WKSU-FM (NPR): Changes in Ohio Law Could Help Give Ex-Offenders New Opportunities (6/4/2019)