April 29, 2024

Record Cleaning Paralegal 

Root & Rebound seeks a social-justice minded paralegal or legal assistant to support our California record cleaning work.

About Root & Rebound: 

Root & Rebound (R&R) is a national reentry advocacy nonprofit, whose mission is to help people navigate reentry and reduce the harms perpetuated by mass incarceration. We provide holistic reentry legal services across all of California, with physical offices in Oakland and Fresno. We provide legal know-your-rights information, and individual services on a wide variety of collateral consequences of a conviction.  Learn more at www.rootandrebound.org

Root & Rebound fills a vital gap in reentry legal services in the California legal services ecosystem. We have even lower barriers to legal services than many other organizations in the area. Given the state’s high cost of living, a person may not qualify for reentry legal services from the public defenders or an IOLTA funded organization, but they will with Root & Rebound. Similarly, our state-wide services fill another gap by serving clients with convictions in under-resourced counties and communities. We pride ourselves on meeting our clients where they are, and working with them to overcome reentry-related barriers to achieve their self-directed goals. The positive outcomes we see from this empowerment work are immense. One client explained the impact of this work: “Record cleaning allowed me to feel confident in myself again and embark in the professional world.” 

Root & Rebound uses an empowerment approach, rather than a direct representation approach, so most filings are submitted to the court pro per (or pro se) and Root & Rebound coaches the client in understanding their next steps and rights. We believe that a client is usually best situated to explain their experience and why a dismissal is in the interest of justice. When a technical legal issue or logistical issue comes up, Root & Rebound will represent in court. 

Although most of our work is remote, our CA legal team has a strong emphasis on collaboration and communication. We meet weekly to share successes and learnings, as well as discuss new and challenging situations. We are team focused and our entire team takes a mentoring and supportive approach to solving problems with and for our clients and supporting our fellow staff members. 

Employment Status: This is a half-time (20 hours per week), non-exempt role, reporting to the Record Cleaning Supervising Attorney

Location: Oakland or Fresno, in-office.  

About the Record Cleaning Paralegal Position:  Record cleaning–a relatively uniform process for removing prior convictions from view on certain records in California–can have huge impacts on the collateral consequences of a conviction, from housing to employment and occupational licensing and more. After record cleaning, one client explained, “I no longer have to worry about a new employer running my background. I can also find another apartment to live in that can run my record and see nothing. I have had problems in the past and have to live in other places because I [have a felony conviction].” This work changes lives in fundamental and profound ways.

Root & Rebound currently has a record cleaning workflow that integrates various staff and volunteer team members throughout the record cleaning process in order to lighten the load of the process.  This is a high caseload position, where the paralegal will be working as a vital team member in a team of staff and volunteers to achieve high impact outcomes for a large number of clients. The paralegal will be responsible for getting the filing through the finish line and supporting the clients in understanding their next steps in preparation for the court hearing, usually pro per.   


  • Completing court forms for cleaning records.
  • Mailing documents and petitions requiring client signatures. 
  • Filing and serving legal documents and calendar hearings with CA courts, ensuring local practices and procedures are followed. 
  • Direct services follow-up, including communicating with clients as appropriate.  
  • Communicating with attorneys on client matters including flagging urgent legal concerns for the appropriate attorney. 
  • Communicating with courts about filed petitions and county filing processes.
  • Proactively communicating with clients regarding upcoming court dates. 
  • Inputting client data into our online client management system. 
  • Participating with the record cleaning team to fine-tune tools and resources to streamline legal/programs work.

Qualifications & Qualities Sought:

  • Paralegal experience, preferably working in a fast-paced nonprofit or community legal aid environment. Experience with the California Superior Court system is preferred.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office software as well as Google products (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs).
  • Proficiency with legal client management systems, including client data-base systems (Clio), and legal cloud-based client systems (Lawyaw).
  • Demonstrated commitment to social, racial, and criminal justice.
  • Strong project management, organization, and coordination skills.
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to prioritize multiple projects given organizational and client needs.
  • Team-based and collaborative approach to work. Excellent communication skills. 
  • Excellent problem-solving skills. Proactive in thinking of and designing creative solutions to advance our mission and work. Enthusiastic, and willing to learn and try new things.
  • A certified paralegal, A.A., B.A., B.S. or paralegal certificate is a plus, but is not needed in this position.
  • Spanish proficiency is strongly preferred.

Compensation & Benefits: This role is a half-time, non-exempt position, with an hourly wage of between $25 – $28 per hour, commensurate with experience.  Employees who are fluent in Spanish receive an additional $1.00/hour. Employment benefits at R&R include:

  • Holiday closures, which includes additional office closure around the December holidays and seven (7) federal holidays, Juneteenth, and Indigenous Peoples’ Day;
  • 60 hours paid vacation and 40 hours paid sick leave, per year;
  • Internal and external professional development opportunities. 

Application Instructions: To apply for this position, please upload a resume, cover letter, and at least three references (explaining your professional relationship and including their contact information) here. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Conflict of Interest Notice: R&R encourages current and former clients to apply to join our team. However, it is a conflict of interest for R&R to provide legal services to our own employees. We will do our best to ensure that any current clients who are hired by R&R have other legal representation prior to beginning employment. 


Root & Rebound is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including formerly incarcerated and/or system-involved individuals.  We look at each applicant’s full experience and consider each applicant.  We encourage people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply. Individuals with lived experience of the criminal justice system and its impacts are strongly encouraged to apply. We depend on a diverse team to accomplish our mission!

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