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Legal Services - Institute for Justice and Opportunity

Legal Services

The Institute partners with Community Service Society (CSS) to provide free legal services to current and prospective CUNY students with conviction records. Legal services include regularly scheduled: (1) Supporting College Students With Conviction Records: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Employment Rights series focused on rights and legal protections for people with conviction records pursuing education and employment opportunities, (2) and one-on-one legal services. One-on-one legal services include but are not limited to: 

  • Requesting copies of your official criminal record in New York, all other states, and the federal system
  • Correcting errors on your official criminal record
  • Applying for certificates of rehabilitation including certificates of relief from disabilities and certificates of good conduct 
  • Sealing eligible conviction records 
  • Legal guidance and representation to fight discrimination based on conviction records in employment and public housing
  • Legal guidance about applying for employment and professional licenses/certifications with a conviction record
  • Referrals for other legal services i.e., housing, immigration  

View this video to learn more about our legal services: 

Accessing Legal Services

Supporting College Students With Conviction Records: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Employment Rights series

To attend an upcoming workshop, visit the Institute’s Social Media channels.

One-on-One Legal Services*

To receive free, one-on-one legal services and to meet with the Institute’s designated CSS staff attorney, complete this One-on-One Legal Services Referral Form. One-on-one legal services include but are not limited to:

  • Requesting copies of your official criminal record in New York, all other states, and the federal system
  • Correcting errors on your official criminal record
  • Applying for certificates of rehabilitation including certificates of relief from disabilities and certificates of good conduct 
  • Sealing eligible conviction records 
  • Legal guidance and representation to fight discrimination based on conviction records in employment and public housing
  • Legal guidance about applying for employment and professional licenses/certifications with a conviction record
  • Referrals for other legal services i.e., housing, immigration  

*Note: One-on-One Legal Services are available to Institute program participants and current CUNY students/alumni with conviction records. If you are not an Institute program participant or a CUNY student/alumni but are in need of legal services visit contact the CSS Free Legal Hotline. 

Immediate Legal Services

If you are in need of immediate legal services and support, contact the CSS Free Legal Hotline, available to all New Yorkers with conviction histories:

CSS Free Legal Hotline hours: Monday-Friday 9am – 5pm

CSS Free Legal Hotline contact information: 212-614-5441

CSS Free Legal Hotline website: Click here