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

Author(s): Meredith Desautels, Paul R. Chavez
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 a staff attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a focus on advancing racial justice and civil rights in the criminal justice system, Meredith directs Lawyers’ Committee’s Second Chance Legal Clinic, which provides free legal services to people with past arrests and convictions to help them overcome the barriers to successful community reintegration. Meredith also engages in community outreach and education, policy advocacy, and impact litigation to promote reentry and criminal justice reform. Before joining Lawyers' Committee, Meredith clerked for Judge Noonan on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and worked as a supervising attorney in the Clean Slate Practice at the East Bay Community Law Center. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall.