Johns Hopkins expungement clinics open doors to new opportunities

Clinic planned for Saturday, Oct. 1, in East Baltimore; four previous clinics co-hosted by Hopkins and Maryland Legal Aid have provided free legal services to 423 clients

Alicia Wilson works with a client at a previous Expungement Clinic

Image caption: Alicia Wilson, Johns Hopkins vice president for economic development and an attorney, assists a community member at a previous Expungement Clinic held in May, 2021.

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins Media Relations
Office phone

The Johns Hopkins Office of Economic Development and Community Partnerships will host its Fall Expungement Clinic and Resource Fair on Saturday, Oct. 1, in collaboration with Maryland Legal Aid. The event—held at the Turner Concourse (720 Rutland Ave.) on the Johns Hopkins medical campus in East Baltimore—is sponsored by HopkinsLocal HIRE and Fox45 Baltimore.

The positive impact of previous clinics continues to attract volunteer attorneys from the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys of Maryland Inc., Monumental City Bar Association, and the University of Baltimore Law School who want to support efforts to remove barriers to success for local residents.

The expungement clinics—this will be the fifth one hosted by Johns Hopkins in the past 20 months—are an opportunity for Johns Hopkins to give back to the community, providing Maryland residents with the chance to remove various charges from public inspection in one sitting. This means previous criminal charges will no longer show up on a background check when applying for a job, housing, or education.

Lawyers file paperwork at Expungement Clinic
Expungement clinics clear path to success

Johns Hopkins partners with Maryland Legal Aid and others to make attorneys available to help remove charges from public records and open doors to new opportunities

"Returning to campus for our fifth expungement clinic is significant," said Alicia Wilson, vice president for economic development at Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System. "We return to the space that introduced the value of this community initiative, with close to 100 clients attending the first event, to learn how we could support them in changing the trajectory of their life."

Wilson introduced the expungement clinic to Johns Hopkins in February 2020. Since then, 423 clients have been served, with 1,354 cases filed and clients saving $17,760 in legal fees.

"Johns Hopkins has made an investment in communities by sponsoring and allowing us to come out and provide pro bono legal services right there in the communities that need them the most," adds Angus Derbyshire, acting director for training and pro bono at Maryland Legal Aid.

The event will not only offer legal advice and services but also highlight opportunities presented by participating resource partners, including the Baltimore Mayor's Office of Employment Development, Turnaround Tuesday, and Project PLASE (People Lacking Ample Shelter and Employment). Representatives from Johns Hopkins anchor initiative HopkinsLocal HIRE will be on-site to share job opportunities with local residents in both the university and health system, including key roles within the dining program. HopkinsLocal HIRE was developed to increase the number of city residents employed at Johns Hopkins institutions.

The expungement clinic is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is not required. Face masks are encouraged.

Posted in Community