Porter Hedges Congratulates Beacon Law and Summer Associates for Important Work for the Homeless

Firm News

According to The Beacon, a non-profit organization that champions equal justice for low-income persons suffering from homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness, 90% of America’s civil legal aid needs go unmet.  Every year The Beacon’s legal division, Beacon Law, alleviates this need for thousands of clients in Harris and surrounding counties. 

Expunction of criminal records is an important part of Beacon Law’s work.  Innocent until proven guilty is a basic but essential tenet of the American justice system.  Unfortunately this does not always ring true for some.  Criminal records exist for many people who have never been convicted of any crime, and erroneous or misleading criminal records can negatively affect a person’s access to employment, housing, and college admission.  Clearing a person’s records can mean a world of difference to that person. 

Porter Hedges congratulates The Beacon and Beacon Law for their criminal record expunction work.  We also thank Beacon Law for the opportunity to assist with this important work.  The Firm’s 2020 Summer Associates (Priyanka Kasnavia, Samuel Schauer, Kristina Walpole, Nabeela Arshi, Franklin Hise, John Ryan Isaacson, Shahnoor Khuwaja, Davin Laskin, Shelby Payne, and Lorena Valle) drafted several petitions for expunction of criminal records.  Hiring Partner Heather Hatfield and Attorney Recruitment and Development Manager Deirdra Clement report that the criminal record expunction project provided the summer associates with valuable experience and a genuine feel for the importance of pro bono work.  Recognizing the significant difference that this expunction work can make to persons affected by erroneous or misleading criminal records, Porter Hedges attorneys plan to volunteer with Beacon Law in the future.