Offender Reentry Clinic
Professor Anthony Thompson
Open to 3L and 2L students
Maximum of 8 students
No prerequisites or co-requisites. (see "Criteria for Clinic Selection" below)
The Reentry Clinic will be offered to eight students as a full-year, 10-credit course.
A number of individuals will be released from state and federal prison annually. Many of these individuals will return to neighborhoods with scarce resources to provide them safe, affordable housing or viable employment. In addition, because of their criminal record, these individuals could be denied public housing, certain kinds of jobs, public assistance, educational student loans, and voting rights. Given the complexity of legal and practical barriers faced by individuals returning from prison to the community, this clinic will focus both on individual assistance to clients, as well as policy reform aimed at facilitating the reentry process of individuals being released from prison. Looking at the reentry process on both a micro and macro level, students will become familiar with the range of legal restrictions and practical hurdles facing individuals with a criminal record, as well as their families and communities. On a philosophical level, we will consider the delicate balance between promoting public safety and stigmatizing people who have paid their debt to society. In addition, we will explore the role of the media in shaping criminal justice policy.
Students enrolled in the Reentry Clinic will litigate employment discrimination cases involving individuals who have been denied licenses by New York State. These hearings will be scheduled, investigated and litigated by the students in the clinic under the supervision of Professor Anthony Thompson. Students enrolled in the Reentry Clinic will also work on a variety of legal and policy assignments such as:
- advising clients with criminal records on their legal rights and obligations pertaining to employment;
- advising clients on how to review and clean up their rap sheets by ensuring their criminal records are accurate, sealing appropriate arrests and violations, and obtaining Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct;
- advocating, in coalition with other community-based providers, for the use of alternatives to incarceration and sentencing reform;
- conducting trainings at reentry facilities throughout New York City;
- presenting policy recommendations to the New York Secretary of State and her department.
Criteria for Clinic Selection
Prior experience in the criminal justice system, civil legal services or with ex-offenders will be viewed favorably.
Students will be expected to spend 12-15 hours per week on fieldwork.
Please submit your clinic application, resume and unofficial transcript through CAMS, the online application system. You will be contacted for an interview. If you have any questions, please contact Damaris Marrero at 212-998-6473 or email@example.com.
* 10 credits includes 3 clinical credits and 2 academic seminar credits per semester.