Community Law Division (CLD) is a branch of MPD, a non-profit law firm that provides criminal public defense and other legal services in an effort to remove barriers to advancement for vulnerable populations in the Portland metropolitan area. CLD serves past and current clients of MPD’s Criminal Division and clients of our established community partners. We assist people who were and are involved, or are at risk of involvement, in the criminal justice system.
CLD’s specialty is diminishing the downstream effects of criminal justice involvement. We help undo the damage done by an imbalanced criminal justice system by reducing social stigma and clearing our clients’ records. These criminal record clearing services include expungement, felony reduction, reducing court fines and fees, correcting the legal record, warrant resolutions, and driver’s license reinstatement. We also advocate for systemic changes to help all Oregonians previously involved in the criminal justice system. Some of our efforts include developing county-wide programs to reduce court debt and legislative advocacy to widen statutory access to criminal record clearing.
In working with our clients, we evaluate their circumstances for other legal issues posing barriers to opportunity and stability. When beneficial, we will provide a fuller range of civil legal services. CLD’s expanded services include immigration and removal defense, family law and protective orders, housing and homelessness prevention, public benefits, guardianship and other legal issue areas.
We partner with government agencies and organizations to serve our clients, working together to help clients navigate the legal system, remove barriers to economic opportunities, and deliver justice. The work performed requires a general knowledge of the organization’s operations.