Criminal-Record Sealing & Pro Bono Opportunities

When:  Apr 29, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM (ET)

CORI MATTERS: Learn How to Help Clients Seal and Expunge Criminal Records

For those with a criminal record, the information contained in their Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) can be a real roadblock to getting jobs, housing and access to other opportunities. 

The Massachusetts Bar Association is collaborating with Greater Boston Legal Services and the Lawrence Bar Association to recruit attorneys to help clients from low-income communities seal their records and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. The project seeks volunteers to represent a pro bono client in their region of the state court and/or provide limited-assistance representation.

Attorneys of all backgrounds are encouraged to volunteer to take a case or help with our community outreach. The required time commitment is likely less than 25 hours, and GBLS provides training, materials and mentoring. This is also an opportunity to learn about new rights and protections brought about by criminal justice reform in 2018.

Topics to be covered:

  • What is CORI?
  • Levels of access to CORI and who gets access to your CORI
  • FBI background checks
  • How to correct mistakes on a CORI
  • How to file a complaint for violations of the CORI law
  • Myths about sealing
  • Expunging juvenile and criminal cases under the new law passed in 2018
  • Planning and building your case for sealing or expunging cases
  • Special considerations for immigrant clients
  • How to seal criminal cases through the administrative process
  • Sealing non-convictions in court
  • Sealing juvenile court records
  • What cases can never be sealed or expunged
  • Effect of the sex offender registry status
  • Where to file, what to file, and the court process
  • BMC CORI Standing Order
  • Standard of proof and leading case
  • What a CORI looks like after sealing or expungement
  • Responding to CORI inquiries after your record is sealed or expunged
  • Appeals of denials of sealing requests
  • New law requiring Mass. to ask the FBI to seal or expunge certain records

This program is co-sponsored by the Lawrence Bar Association. Members of the Lawrence Bar Association, who are not MBA members, can enjoy a special discounted rate of $25. To register, please contact the Massachusetts Bar Association Member Service Center at (617) 338-0530. 


2 Appleton Street
Lawrence, MA 01840