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Boston VLP

Welcome to the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (VLP) provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of Greater Boston, primarily through the pro bono services of private attorneys. With your help, VLP makes access to justice possible for people who cannot afford a lawyer. Find out about our volunteer opportunities for attorneys and law students.

Please join us. Your time is precious. Use it to make a difference.

 

We Need You for New Pro Bono Projects!

VLP's ERLI Helpline Needs Pro Bono Attorneys for Advice Panels

In October 2016, VLP began operation of a helpline to provide callers with information, advice, and referrals; screen clients for legal aid eligibility; and conduct intakes in legal aid priority cases. The new service is called ERLI (Eastern Region Legal Intake).

Pro bono is an important part of how ERLI delivers services. In appropriate cases, ERLI provides advice to callers who won't be be able to get representation through a legal aid program, usually because their case doesn't meet any program's case acceptance priority. These callers will be scheduled for 30-minute telephone legal advice sessions with experienced pro bono attorneys. Callers will be told that they will only receive advice and that full representation is not available for their cases.

If you are an attorney with experience in family law, housing, employment, or probate, we need your expertise for our advice panels. Advice sessions can be scheduled at a time and place that's convenient for you. For more information, contact VLP's Director of Intake, Advice and Referral, Attorney Stephen Russo.

MA Legal Answers Online

If you want a meaningful yet predictable pro bono experience and you prefer to computers to telephones, check out Mass Legal Answers Online. Mass Legal Answers Online is a virtual legal advice clinic that is part of the American Bar Association's Free Legal Answers project. It's a secure website where low-income Massachusetts residents post their legal questions and volunteer attorneys answer them, all through the same website. It launched in Massachusetts in November 2016. There are questions questions waiting to be answered by you!

Watch for announcements and save the date for a MA Legal Answers Online blitz at the Boston Bar Association on July 19th at 5:30 p.m. There will be food and good company!

 


Small Claims Clinics at BMC Central

VLP now runs clinics at the Boston Municipal Court small claims sessions to provide free legal representation for consumer debtors. We are looking for volunteers at all levels of experience to assist at these clinics.  Law students are also encouraged to attend.  The clinic meets every Thursday at 1PM on the 5th Floor in Courtroom D at the Brooke Courthouse on 24 New Chardon Street, Boston.  

*VLP also runs small claims clinics in Quincy District Court on the first Tuesday of the month and Cambridge District Court every Thursday at 8:45AM. Contact Emily Jarrell for more information or to sign up for a particular day. 


Fresh Start Debt Relief Clinics

As part of our work on a Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant from the Legal Services Corporation, VLP developed legal clinics for people considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There Fresh Start clinics inform people in debt about their options and assist them with bankruptcy where appropriate. We need volunteers for these clinics: lawyers to give a short presentation about debt relief and advise clients in one-on-one sessions; and law students and paralegals to help clients complete a bankruptcy questionnaire and get credit reports and other documents. You can provide invaluable help to people in need by volunteering a few hours of your time once a month at a clinic. Clinics are held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, with the location alternating monthly between DotHouse Health Clinic in Dorchester and the VLP office in Boston. For more information, contact VLP staff attorney Emily Jarrell.  To sign up to help with a clinic contact George-Marie Jasmin.

 


Volunteer Honor Roll

Click here to see the honor roll for March and April. Thank you the attorneys who volunteered to take pro bono cases, assist clients at clinics and lawyer of the day projects, mentor other lawyers, and review guardianship reports. We appreciate you!

 


Opportunities

Click the button below to sign up for one of our court projects:

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

 


 

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You can find pro bono opportunities throughout Massachusetts at massprobono.org.

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