Ban The Box

Ban The BoxOverview

Ban the Box is a national campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders, aimed at persuading employers to remove the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record from their hiring applications. The Winston-Salem community initiative, started by Circles and The Shalom Project, aims to convince businesses to remove the “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” question off of employee job applications. Currently, employers have a tendency to write off anyone who answers “yes” to the question, even if the felony occurred years ago. After implementing Ban the Box, employers are still allowed to ask the question at the end of the application process, after they’ve had a chance to interview the applicant. This slight change affords convicted felons a fair shot at obtaining a job based on merit, instead of being eliminated from the application pool due to stigma. The initiative has recently been successful in Durham, NC.

Our Role

Wake Forest University School of Law supports this initiative in three ways. First, law students hold expungement clinics to provide direct representation for individuals suffering from the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. Expungement clinics serve to help people clear up their records, making it easier to get jobs. However, not everyone is eligible to get an expungement so Ban the Box aims to lessen the burdens of having a criminal record in other ways. Second, we do research on national, state, and local Ban the Box efforts. The statistics and information we gather is useful to help influence local businesses and other entities to Ban the Box. Lastly, our group aims to raise awareness for this initiative in the Wake Forest community and Winston-Salem community at large. We help answer the legal questions surrounding banning the box. Our efforts help to inform human resource managers and other interested individuals about any potential legal ramifications of banning the box.


Local organizations Circles and The Shalom Project spearheaded Ban the Box in 2015. Wake Forest Law has been onboard since Fall 2015.

Training Less than 1 hour

Training for expungement clinics can be completed online in less than an hour. As for the legal presentations, there isn’t any training, however, preparation can take several hours depending on the particular legal question.

Fall 2016 Training: August 31st | 12 p.m. | Classroom 1101

Pro Bono Opportunities

Keep an eye out in our weekly newsletter for upcoming Ban the Box expungement clinics. Contact Meredith Pace if you are interested in being a part of the legal presentation.

Signing Up & Contact Info

Contact Tenika Neely at if you want to get involved! Also, look out for information about training and opportunities in our weekly newsletter and Project Calendar!

Upcoming Event: We Are All Criminals | November 2 | 12 p.m. | Large Courtroom (1302)