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Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera Showcase Alumnus Michael Lee’s Advocacy

Michael Lee Photo courtesy of Jeff Fusco

December 02, 2014

A Dec. 2 article in the Wall Street Journal cited alumnus Michael Lee’s success at erasing the phantom arrest record of a client that had been on the books for 51 years.

The article noted that on Dec. 1, Lee, ’09, the executive director and supervising attorney of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, helped persuade the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Court of Common Pleas to agree to erase 74-year-old Barbara Ann Finn’s baseless criminal record.

Finn was never charged with any crime, although police had briefly taken her into custody when a friend of hers was caught shoplifting in 1963. Finn did not know that an arrest record existed until it showed up in a routine check after she applied for a part-time county job in Maryland.  She was turned down for the job.

Lee explained in the article that the court’s action authorized Pennsylvania State Police to contact the FBI and have the problematic record removed.

An article published on Al Jazeera’s website on Nov. 17 also cited Lee’s work to expunge criminal records that put jobs and housing out of reach for Philadelphians who have never been convicted of crimes.

The article noted that Lee and other attorneys with PLSE operate clinics throughout Philadelphia to help people expunge inaccurate and outdated information from their records.