Noella Sudbury became interested in the issue of criminal records expungement soon after law school, while working as a criminal defense lawyer. Over and over again, she saw clients put in the hard work to get out of the criminal justice system and rebuild their lives, only to have doors slammed in their faces because of their records. That set her down a path that led her last year to found Rasa Legal, an innovative justice tech company, licensed under Utah’s legal services sandbox, that is making the process of expunging a criminal record simple and affordable.
Last month, Inc. named Sudbury to its Female Founders 200 list, a selection of women founders who have moved the needle in business and in their communities. Last year, Rasa was selected as the 2022 Access to Justice winner at the American Legal Technology Awards. Also last year, the Utah State Bar honored Sudbury with its 2022 Distinguished Service Award and, in 2019, Utah Business Magazine named her its 2019 Woman of the Year.
In 2016, after practicing criminal law in private practice and as a public defender, Sudbury was appointed director of the Salt Lake County, Utah, Criminal Justice Advisory Council. She later joined the cabinet of then Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams as a senior policy advisor on criminal justice. In 2019, she led the successful effort that resulted in the unanimous passage of Utah’s Clean Slate law, which made Utah only the second U.S. state to automate the criminal record expungement process for misdemeanor offenses.
It was over the course of that career that she came to see that technology could play a critical role in automating and simplifying the process of expungement, and it was that realization that led her to found Rasa Legal.
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