Error 404 Page
Error 403 Page
Volunteer Lawyers Service

Volunteer Lawyers Service

Volunteer Lawyers Service

CLA coordinates the Volunteer Lawyers Service (VLS), the largest pro bono referral program in central and western Massachusetts.  Since its inception in 1981, VLS has been able to refer thousands of low-income clients to lawyers in the private bar who represent those clients free of charge.  The Volunteer Lawyers Service refers cases in the following areas:

Adoption, Advance Directives/Wills, Bankruptcy/Debt Collection, Family Law, Foreclosure/Predatory Lending, Guardianships, Landlord-Tenant/Evictions, Special Education, SSI/SSDI.

CLA also coordinates a number of special projects involving volunteers:

  • Housing Court Lawyer for the Day project.  Operates in the Worcester and Springfield sessions of the Housing Court.  Lawyers provide advice and/or represent litigants in eviction cases during mediations, motion hearings, and trials.
  • Worcester District Court Small Claims Lawyer for the Day.  Operates in the Worcester District Court. Lawyers file limited appearances on behalf of defendants in the small claims session who have incomes which are exempt from collection or who have defenses to debt collection actions.
  • Hampden Probate and Family Court Limited Assistance Representation Project.   Attorneys who are certified to provide limited assistance representation volunteer on certain scheduled days to assist income-eligible litigants with their family law court case that day.
  • Worcester Probate and Family Court Lawyer for the Day.  Volunteer lawyers staff a help desk where they assist litigants with completing court forms and answer questions about family law matters.
  • Zarrow Homeless Advocacy Project.  Operates in Worcester County.  Lawyers advise residents of homeless shelters on their legal rights.
  • Medical-Legal Partnership.  In partnership with local health providers, CLA’s Medical-Legal Partnership detects, addresses and prevents health harming social conditions for individuals and the communities we serve.

Participation in the programs is open to any licensed  attorney in good standing with the Board of Bar Overseers. To participate in a Limited Representation Assistance case, the attorney must be certified through the Mass. Trial Court.

For further information, please contact:

Gordon Shaw, Director of Client Access
Community Legal Aid
20 Hampton Ave, Ste 100
Northampton, MA 01060
P: 413-727-7104
E: gshaw [at] cla-ma [dot] org

To join, you can sign up on line, or download an application form

To volunteer with our Medical Legal Partnership, please sign up on line or download the registration form.

Please also see our brochure, which you can download from the link below.

-A +A