Haag has spent her career in and around criminal defense. She’s passionate about helping others, especially those who are trying to get on with their lives post-incarceration.
“Not everybody who is incarcerated is a bad person,” she said. “Sometimes they’ve just made a mistake.”
During the pandemic, a large part of Haag’s focus has been on working on the firm’s “Peacetime Emergency Free Expungement Program.” The program helps those suffering from the pandemic who needed to have their records expunged in an effort to promote reemployment or help with housing needs.
“It’s mostly dealing with misdemeanours,” she said. “But those records can keep people from getting jobs, getting housing. A one-time DWI from years ago is still going to affect some things now.”
The firm’s founding partners were recognized as Attorneys of the Year for the Free Expungement Program, but they are quick to give credit where it’s due — with Haag.
“Shelli has had an enormous yet quiet impact on hundreds of clients’ lives, and her role can not be understated,” her nominators said. “Shelli has [taken], and continues to take, an active role in the success of all parts of our legal practice. She makes us look good in court on a daily basis and does so with a smile on her face.”
The smile on her face is indicative of the joy and passion Haag has for her work, she said. Helping people is her passion when she comes to work.
“Most people are really just appreciative of someone to listen to them,” she said. “When I answer the phone and someone is freaked out, they think they are going to jail, they really just need someone to hear them out, offer encouragement and patience.”
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