About Clean Slate Pathway


What is Clean Slate Pathway?

Clean Slate Pathway is a Legal Aid of Western Michigan (LAWM) project to help lower-income people get criminal record expungements. A W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant supports Clean Slate Pathway.


Michigan expanded eligibility for criminal-record expungements.

By expunging records after people have “done their time,” they can get a second chance and earn a better living—helping themselves, their communities, and our local economy. Pathway is an empowerment project—helping people knock down barriers and improve their lives.

How Pathway Helps

Building Expungement Awareness

Fewer than 7% of Michiganders who qualify actually get an expungement within five years. LAWM and our Pathway Partners spread the word about expungement’s benefits.

Delivering Free Legal Services

The expungement process is complex and expensive. LAWM and our pro bono lawyers provide free legal help to eligible clients. We also try to help pay for costs like fingerprinting and obtaining certified records.

Navigating to Next Steps

After getting records expunged, people may seek job-search, career-development, or other supports. Pathway Partners can help people map out their next steps toward empowerment.


Legal Aid of Western Michigan helps people in 17 West Michigan Counties.

Pathway supports our expungement work throughout those counties, with some funding targeted to serve communities of color in Kent County.

Legal Aid of Western Michigan service map

A Partner-driven Project

We launched the project with a generous W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, and we work with:

Pathway Partners

See Our Partners

Attorneys and law firms who volunteer on Pathway cases and events.

Learn More

Government offices throughout our service area.

Current and former clients, who help us spread the word about Clean Slate.

Are you interested in supporting our work?

Reach out directly and we will respond as soon as we can. We look forward to hearing from you!

Steve Grumm

Director of Community Engagement, Legal Aid of Western Michigan