b'REMOVING BARRIERS TO SECOND CHANCESAsayoungmaninhistwenties,PaulOver the next several weeks, the three of them wasconvictedofthreedrugchargesandaheld numerous meetings with the organization, misdemeanorfordrivingwithasuspendedhashingoutprotocolsforhowMintzattorneysWe couldnt run license.Thoughhehadtransformedhislife,wouldrepresentclientsintheCORIclinics,clinics like the CORI training to become an HVAC technician, writingincluding a system to manage the remote meetings childrensbooks,andstartinganonprofitthatnecessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic and howclinic without our connects people with volunteer opportunities intohandlecourtrepresentationforclientswhofirm partners, and Boston, his criminal record held him back. Hewanted to pursue expungement during this time.Mintz is certainly a was turned down for jobs he was qualified for andThey recruited attorney Nick Armington, who had hadapplicationsdeniedwhenapplyingtorentpreviously worked as a special assistant districtleader among the apartments. After unsuccessful attempts to sealattorney, to supervise this aspect of the projectfirms we work with his records on his own, he had nearly given upandprovidesuggestionstoattorneysabout when he found his way to a pro bono legal clinicparticular clients before each clinic.to staff our clinics. to help low-income individuals seal or expungeParticipatingintheclinicsisagreatwayforTheir passion and Massachusettscriminalrecords.Withthehelplawyerstouseoureducationefficientlyandlegal skills were ofattorneyNadiaDoCanto,Paulsrecordwaseffectively to make a real impact on someones sealedbythestatesprobationoffice,andheslife, Nick said. especially valuable now in the process of seeking expungement, orin 2020 when we removalfromhisrecord,oftwopossessionofNadiaandRithikarecruitedvolunteersand marijuana charges. organized the first clinic by July 2020, includingtransitioned this new When he told me the probation office had agreedworkingwithLawyersClearinghousetosetupclinic to a virtual to seal his record, he almost cried on the phonetrainingandapre-clinicprepsessionforthe lawyers. At each clinic, one or more attorneys meetmodel. Mintz was with me, Nadia said. It encouraged him to movewith a client in a private, virtual breakout room, forward with his dreams. instrumental in interviewingthemandgatheringinformationmaking sure it was MintzrepresentedPaulthroughoneofmanywhile a Mintz staff member prepares the petition pro bono projects the firm undertook to combatfor the probation office. After the clinics, Mintza success because systemic racism after a police officer killed Georgesendsready-to-mailpackageswiththepetitiontheir volunteersFloyd in May 2020. That spring, amid nationwideand supporting documents to the clients, enabling protests against police brutality, attorney Nadiathem to simply sign the petition and mail it to theare so dedicated toDoCantoandformerMintzattorneyRithikaprobation office. fully representingKulathila approached the Chair of Mintzs Pro BonoThe program has been highly successful: to date, Committee, Sue Finegan, to find out if the firmthese clients.was working on any pro bono projects to address50Mintzparticipants,including40attorneys, racial injustice. Sue had learned of Massachusettshave served 36 clients through five clinics. TenSUSAN GEDRICK, ESQ.CriminalOffenderRecordInformation(CORI)professional staff members assisted, typically byExecutive DirectorsealingclinicsbeingorganizedbytheLawyerstaking notes during interviews, filling out formsLawyers ClearinghouseClearinghouse, a Boston-based organization thatthe clients need to sign, and sending them to the coordinates pro bono legal services for homelessclients. Project analyst Sergey Smirnov and Sues and low-income individuals, and suggested thatassistant Emily Paone provided extensive support this might be something for the firm to explore.fortheclinics,andEmilyalsoassistedwith conflict checks and other administrative details.TRANSCENDING // Mintz Pro Bono Journal 19'