With the guidance and support of the Armenian Bar Association, the Armenian Law Students’ Association of Southwestern Law School (“ALSA”) has partnered with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (“NLSLA”) to provide pro bono services to indigent clients. During the past year, the three organizations have met and conferred on several occasions to map out effective ways to meet the legal needs of the most vulnerable members of the community. With the aim of expanding access to justice, the initial focus has been on Expungement and Proposition 47 relief. Volunteers – including ALSA members from Southwestern Law School, practicing attorneys including Armenian Bar members, and other community advocates – commit their respective synergies to complete Expungement petitions.
Under the California Penal Code and Proposition 47, certain low-level, nonviolent felonies can be reclassified to misdemeanors on old criminal records or, alternatively, expunged entirely. For many people, old criminal records that contain convictions for low-level, nonviolent crimes have created barriers to stability. Many find it difficult to secure jobs, housing, student loans and other opportunities for economic security and family stability.
Participants engage in a process where the clients are instructed to obtain their Court Dockets and DOJ Rap Sheets, then call to make an appointment. NLSLA then prepares folders for each anticipated client. On the day of the clinic, clients are welcomed into private rooms where they are assisted with the appropriate paperwork, including the preparation of motions, declarations, and next-step instructions. Each consultation lasts a little more than one hour.
Please check this website for more information about the future clinics. For volunteer opportunities, please contact the Armenian Bar Association at ArmenianBar@ArmenianBar.org.