Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP is pleased to participate in the Reily Reentry Project, a clinic offering expungement services to community members who are hindered by their criminal record. Thanks to a $300,000 donation from Louisville Urban League board member Stephen Reily, and with the Louisville Urban League, Legal Aid Society, the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, help from the Association of Corporate Counsel and Wyatt, this clinic will enable members of our community to better their lives.
"When I was running for Metro Council last year, I was shocked at the number of people I ran across, engaged citizens who were really interested in the race, but told me they couldn’t give me their vote," Stephen Reily said during Monday's press conference. "And it wasn’t because they were choosing one of my opponents. It was because they were not eligible to vote because they had once committed a crime. As I started paying more attention to this issue, I realized that the impact went far beyond voting. Criminal records prohibit hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians from getting good paying jobs or even renting an apartment which in turn impacts families and our neighborhoods and our city."
A Standford research study shows incredible benefits of expungement: income increases of approximately $6,000 a year, reduced unemployment, increased access to housing, improved access to financial aid for higher education and increased tax revenue. Last year, Kentucky passed a new law making expungement easier but imposed substantial fees. That's where the Reily Reentry Project comes in.
On Monday, January 22, 2018, the Louisville Urban League held a press conference to begin spreading the word about the upcoming clinic. Please click here to watch a news clip from the press conference.
"[There are] heavy fees for each expungement, and most people have to hire a lawyer to complete the process, which is an expense beyond the means of many who have already paid their price to society," Reily said. "Your level of citizenship should not depend on your level of income."
Franklin Jelsma, Wyatt's Managing Partner, thanked Reily for his generous donation.
"It means a whole lot to a lot of people in this community," he said during the press conference. "Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs has lawyers who are happy to turn out. Quite simply, it’s the right thing to do."
The expungement clinic will be Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Roosevelt Perry Elementary School.