We are thrilled to announce our investment in Easy Expunctions, a startup offering customers an inexpensive way to clear their criminal record.
Over 70 Million Americans Have a Criminal Record
While almost half qualify for expungement, under 10% of those eligible apply. This is startling, given the significant effect expungement has on one’s employment prospects. An estimated $87 billion of economic activity is lost annually to underemployment of Americans with a criminal record. A study published in the Harvard Law Review (2020) reports that, post-expungement, individuals are more likely to be employed and their wages increase by over 22% compared to qualified individuals who did not pursue expungement.
The appeal of record expungement is further enhanced by promising data on public safety. This same study found the rate of arrest among those with an expunged record to be lower than the rate for the general population.
Nonetheless, barriers to expungement persist. Two key drivers are the cost of legal representation and the convoluted nature of state-specific protocol. Further complicating the process: post-expungement, additional services must be purchased to ensure ones’ record does not lurk in private online databases.
Easy Expunctions’ automated solution removes the need for a lawyer, allowing a broader swath of Americans to afford the service. Their company provides: (a) a vast database to check one’s criminal background and eligibility for expungement, (b) an automated process to file for expungement at a low cost, (c) a mechanism to clear existing records from online databases, ensuring the record does not appear on future background checks.
Expanding access to legal services represents a substantial market opportunity. Automating legal processes previously inaccessible to many Americans is one way to do this. The LegalTech Fund is impressed by Yousef and the Easy Expunctions team. We look forward to their expansion across the country.