University of Akron, C. Blake McDowell Law Center


The Reentry Clinic at University of Akron School of Law offers students exposure to public sector practice while allowing them to assist clients involved in the criminal justice system. Law students in the clinic, under the supervision of attorneys, provide four important services to clients. In the Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) Clinic, law students work with clients who have criminal convictions, assisting them in applying for this certificate. In many cases, clients are barred from holding certain types of employment or professional licenses. The CQE allows the prospective employer or the licensing authority to employ or license an ex-offender.

Students working in the Expungement Clinic serve low-income residents who seek to have their convictions sealed by the court. They conduct background searches, develop relationships with clients, and represent the client in the courtroom. The Clemency Project provides assistance to low-income clients who seek a pardon for their convictions. Students are trained to handle pardon applications to the governor. They continue the client relationship by representing the client at their formal pardon hearing under attorney supervision.

Finally, students in the Human Trafficking Clinic assist victims of human trafficking to expunge their criminal records. Students conduct investigations and screen for potential clients, then follow up with clients and conduct investigations.

All of these programs allow students the opportunity to gain valuable client experience and legal skills while providing an important service to their community.

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