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Re-Entry Issues: Overcoming Employment and Housing Challenges Due to a Prior Arrest or Conviction

Author(s): Paul R. Chavez, Meredith Desautels
Practice Area: Employment, Litigation, Pro Bono
Published: Aug 2013
PLI Item #: 43398
CHB Spine #: 11

Paul Chavez joined the Lawyers' Committee as the Senior Attorney & Pro Bono Coordinator in May 2010.  He directs all of the organization’s pro bono programs, overseeing the recruitment, training, and mentoring of pro bono attorneys taking on cases in the areas of racial, economic, and immigrant justice.  Paul also directs the law clerk program, and maintains an active impact litigation docket.  Previously, Paul worked for Centro Legal de la Raza where he litigated worker's rights cases, representing low wage workers primarily in the areas of wage and hour law, unlawful termination, and discrimination.  Paul recruited pro bono representation for Centro Legal's clients and managed the organization's co-counsel relationships.  Previously, Paul was a litigation associate at Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP where he was a member of the firm's commercial litigation and employment law groups.  A Colorado native, Paul was a fire fighter in the United States Navy prior to receiving his BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado.  Paul earned his JD from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of law.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Centro Legal de la Raza, and as Co-President of the Board of Directors of the East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association.

Meredith Desautels is an attorney and fellow with the Youth Justice unit at Bay Area Legal Aid. Funded through the Rosenberg Foundation's Leading Edge Fellowship, Meredith's work focuses on strategies for reducing youth incarceration in juvenile halls and camps. Prior to joining Bay Area Legal Aid, Meredith spent several months of her fellowship representing youth in delinquency proceedings through the San Francisco Public Defender's Office. Meredith was previously a staff attorney at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she used litigation and legislative strategies to advance civil rights and racial justice in the criminal justice system. She also directed the Lawyers' Committee's Second Chance Legal Clinic, which provides free legal services to people facing barriers due to a past criminal record. Meredith clerked for Judge Noonan on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law.