Jessica Gillespie

Jessica Gillespie is a Legal Editor and Nolo’s Research Director. Her articles appear on,, and

Education. Jessica received a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Long Island University, and an M.A. in United States History from North Carolina State University. She also did doctoral work in history at the University of Tennessee, where she focused her research on Progressive Era reform movements in the Appalachian South.

Working at Nolo. Jessica joined the Nolo Editorial team in 2014. At Nolo, Jessica conducts legal research and writes and edits articles across many areas of practice, including estate planning, criminal law, and personal injury. She is also the current editor of Nolo’s Legal Forms for Starting & Running a Small Business and a cocreator of many of Nolo’s online legal forms, including the online LLC and online corporation formation services.

Before Nolo. In addition to her background in academia, Jessica has years of experience working in law libraries. Before coming to Nolo, Jessica managed the U.S., E.U., and U.N. documents collections at New York University’s Law Library and worked in the library of a large law firm in Richmond, Virginia, where she provided technical services support and research assistance to attorneys and staff.

Articles By Jessica Gillespie

Can I Grow Marijuana for My Own Personal Use in Washington?
Washington state permits certain recreational marijuana use by adults 21 and older. However, growing cannabis for personal use is not allowed except for qualifying medical marijuana patients.
Kansas Marijuana Laws
The possession and sale of any amount of marijuana is illegal in Kansas, and potential penalties vary by the amount possessed or sold.
Expunging or Sealing an Adult Criminal Record in Kansas
In Kansas, many arrest and conviction records can be expunged or sealed so that the general public will not be able to access them. But not all criminal records are eligible..
Vermont Statutory Rape Laws
In Vermont, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone 16 or younger), even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have committed statutory rape.
Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Maine
Maine does not allow the expungement of adult criminal records, except for convictions for Class E crimes committed by people who were 18 to 21 years old at the time of the offense. Otherwise, the state differentiates between “public criminal history record information” and “confidential criminal history information.”
Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Illinois
In Illinois, some criminal records can be sealed or expunged under certain conditions. In most cases, after your record is sealed or expunged, the general public won’t be able to view it.
Expungement or Dismissal of Adult Criminal Records in California
In California, the process of expunging or clearing a criminal record is usually called "dismissal." For legal purposes, if your conviction is dismissed, it is as though you never committed the crime.
Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Texas
In Texas, the process of expunging a criminal record is often called “expunction.” In addition, some criminal records may be sealed by court order, called an “order of nondisclosure.”
Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Louisiana
In Louisiana, your criminal record may be expunged -- that is, erased or sealed -- under the circumstances described below. If your record qualifies, it will be hidden from public view.
Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in West Virginia
In West Virginia, your criminal record may be expunged -- that is, erased or sealed -- under the circumstances described below. If your record is expunged, it will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers.