RALEIGH – Campbell Law School has announced plans to expand The Blanchard Community Law Clinic efforts tied to the passage of Senate Bill 562, also known as The Second Chance Act. The governor’s signature on this key justice reform legislation on June 25 improves the ability of North Carolina residents to remove prior non-violent criminal convictions from their records, enabling them to get better jobs and support their families.
Founded in 2016, The Blanchard Community Law Clinic helps citizens move forward with their lives following incarceration and involvement with the criminal justice system. The clinic partners with Triangle area community nonprofits including Alliance Medical Ministry, StepUp Ministry, the Raleigh Rescue Mission, Urban Ministries, Justice Served, Community Success Initiative and many more to provide free legal services to low income individuals. Pro bono criminal record expunction efforts have been a mainstay of the clinic which has helped more than 400 individuals since it began.
Campbell Law plans to expand current Community Law Clinic efforts to meet what is expected to be a big rise in expunction petitions as well as enable file reviews of former clients who might now be deemed eligible. A “Second Chance” fundraising campaign has launched with a goal to raise at least $100,000 to hire additional clinic staff over two years to continue to improve the lives of thousands of justice-involved individuals throughout the state. Alumni and supporters are asked to help by making a donation to our clinic work at this clickable link.
The law school kicked off its viral campaign, “Putting the Second Chance Act into ACTion,” with an interview on CBS17. Watch it here.
“Criminal record expunctions bring immediate, positive change to the lives of those impacted by the justice system,” says Professor and Community Law Clinic Director Ashley Campbell. “Every expunction increases the likelihood of a person finding a better job. At a time when so many people are looking for ways to help justice involved individuals following the death of George Floyd, this is a tangible, positive way to help people in our state. This work literally changes lives. And it creates extraordinary learning opportunities for our students. Our social justice clinical efforts are truly transformational for those involved and help embody Campbell Law’s strong ‘give back’ commitment.”
Dean J. Rich Leonard adds, “Current judicial reform efforts underway are among the most significant changes in our state in decades. It is imperative that Campbell Law lead by helping put The Second Chance Act into action and continuing to facilitate positive change in the communities we call home.”
To learn more about The Blanchard Community Law Clinic and its services, visit here.
ABOUT CAMPBELL LAW
Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,400 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2019, Campbell Law celebrated 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.