Ballard is hosting a special Clemency Project clinic on Friday February 12.  The Clemency Project is a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to address the impact of mandatory sentences imposed in the 1980s and 90s, often resulting in extended incarceration for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses.  You can find more information at

On Friday morning, 2/12, Clemency Project representatives will be in our office to provide a one hour training followed by a 2-3 hour clinic at which we will review prisoner records to determine which candidates might be eligible for a full-blown clemency petition.* 

Clemency Project experts will be available for consultation by the volunteers who will work in pairs.  Volunteers will be asked to screen each prisoner's record based on the Clemency Project criteria and answer a list of questions.  An expert will then review and sign-off on the volunteers' findings.  Volunteers have no further obligation beyond the screening session.

If you have considered volunteering for the Clemency Project, but were not sure what it involved, this is a golden opportunity to sample the project for a couple hours with guidance from the experts before committing to take an individual case. 

Please let me and Lisa Whiteley know by noon on Thursday February 11 if you are able to attend the Clemency Project clinic on Friday, February 12, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the 48th floor of Ballard Spahr's Philadelphia office.  A one-hour training overview will be conducted beginning at 9 a.m., followed by the records review. Light breakfast and lunch will be served.

While it is helpful to have taken the full 2-hour clemency training, available online, it is not required.  Those who have not completed the online training will be partnered with a trained clemency volunteer.  If you wish to take the broader two-hour online clemency training first, please follow the steps below and advise Lisa Whiteley once you complete the online training.

Please feel free to contact us with questions.

Mary Gay Scanlon
Pro Bono Counsel
Ballard Spahr LLP
1735 Market Street, 51st Floor  
Philadelphia, PA19103-7599
Direct   215.864.8912 
Fax      215.864.9050 n
Ballard Spahr Pro Bono n Creating Windows of Opportunity

Clemency Project Online Training Information:

1.            Create a free NACDL (host organization of CP2014 training and online intake database) login account at

2.            Take and complete the 2 hour training (use link above). Contact Lisa for the matter number for your time. 

3.            Complete the post-training survey (use link above).

4.            Notify Lisa Whiteley that your training is complete so that she can give you the training billing number and request a case for you.

*          Eligibility Criteria established for Clemency Project by US Department of Justice:

•             Currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense(s) today;

•             Have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels;

•             Have served at least 10 years;

•             Have no significant prior convictions;

•             Have demonstrated good conduct in prison; and

•             Have no history of violence prior to or during their current term of imprisonment.