Law school launches traveling expungement clinic

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, in conjunction with the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan State Bar Foundation, will hold a kick-off press conference at the Hall of Justice at the Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday, July 25, at 11 a.m.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack, along with other dignitaries, will kick off the six-county traveling expungement clinic that will begin Friday, July 26, in Gratiot County. The clinics will assist eligible individuals with the process for asking a court to set aside a conviction and expunge their criminal record. An expungement of a criminal record removes barriers to employment, housing and more. 

“By expunging criminal records through these clinics, we can give applicants in rural Michigan a fresh start to better themselves and their communities,” said Clinton County Circuit Court Judge Michelle Rick, who is leading the traveling expungement clinic and teaches Access to Justice as an adjunct professor at Detroit Mercy Law. “We will help individuals navigate the complicated expungement process, while aiming to increase community engagement and public trust in our legal system.”

Eight Detroit Mercy Law students will travel to Gratiot, Wexford, Missaukee, Kalkaska, Crawford, and Otsego Counties from July 26-August 2 to collaborate with local judges, law enforcement and volunteer attorneys. Applicants will be screened for eligibility and provided assistance in preparing the necessary legal documents.

Detroit Mercy Law received a grant from the Michigan State Bar Foundation to fund this project. 

“Detroit Mercy Law is founded on the principle of providing our students with hands-on learning opportunities while helping those in our community,” said Nick Schroeck, associate dean of Experiential Learning at Detroit Mercy Law. “This clinic will assist people in getting a second chance and allows our students to serve others and make a difference in a profound way.”

For additional information about the clinics, contact Rebecca Simkins Nowak, director of Clinical Programs at 313-596-9409 or Nick Schroeck, associate dean of Experiential Learning at 313-596-9817.