ABA Journal

Legal Rebels Podcast

Want to clear a criminal record? This lawyer has an app for that

By Matt Reynolds

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A Rasa team member (left) helps a woman register for the Rasa app at a legal clinic at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Rasa.

The impact for people clearing their criminal records can be life-changing, leading to long-term employment and financial security. And research shows that it also helps prevent recidivism. But the path to expungement is not always easy, requiring people with criminal records to navigate an unfamiliar, costly and drawn-out process. That’s where lawyer Noella Sudbury comes in.

In 2022, she launched an app called Rasa to provide a quick, cheap and easy solution for people who want a fresh start, automating the process of expungement from start to finish.

Sudbury, the first lawyer in her family, says she developed a keen interest in criminal justice reform after working as a public defender. During that time, she saw her clients hitting a brick wall when they tried to rent an apartment, secure loans or get a job.

That inspired her to create an app that could tackle the issue at scale, and Rasa is currently available for people trying to clear their records in Utah and Arizona.

In this episode of the Legal Rebels Podcast, the Rasa founder and CEO tells the ABA Journal’s Matt Reynolds about some of the challenges that she faced in getting Rasa off the ground and her plans to expand the app beyond Utah and Arizona.

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In This Podcast:

<p>Noella Sudbury. Photo courtesy of Rasa.</p>

Noella Sudbury. Photo courtesy of Rasa.

Noella Sudbury is an attorney with over a decade of experience in criminal law, policy and data-driven justice reform. She led a successful campaign to pass Utah’s Clean Slate law, which automates the expungement process for more than 450,000 Utahns, and has assisted other state campaigns to pass automatic clearance. In her spare time, Sudbury enjoys the outdoors and spending time with her two daughters. In 2023, she was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 200 most dynamic female founders in America.

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