Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) was founded by three Philadelphia-based civil rights lawyers in 2010 who recognized the life-long challenges that accompany having a criminal record, especially for marginalized communties.
PLSE provides free legal representation to low-income Philadelphians whose criminal records are holding them back from achieving their social and career potential. They also work to educate former prisoners about their rights post-incarceration and how to clean up their criminal records.
The attorneys at PLSE prepare and file expungement petitions on behalf of clients and help train volunteers, community organizations, and service providers on criminial records, expungements, pardons, and related issues.
The organization has two special projects: PLSE's Pardon Project providing free information, advice, and representation to qualifying individuals, and their Fair Employment Opportunities Project providing advice and representation to individuals who have been treated unfairly at work due to their criminal record.
PLSE also advocates for changes to state expungement statutes and policies that would help reduce the impact of criminal records.