Civil Appeals Clinic
For Lawyers Interested in Volunteering
Wednesdays from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the
John Adams Courthouse in the Appeals Court Clerk's Office - 1st Floor
1 Pemberton Sq, Boston, MA 02108
Self-represented litigants who qualify for assistance meet with volunteer attorneys, who may assess whether a final judgment exists and calculate any deadlines, give general advice concerning appellate issues and procedure, advise the litigant in making the strategic decision to appeal or to continue seeking relief in the trial court, and provide and assist with self-help materials, other resources, forms and motions.
Volunteer attorneys also assess whether a litigant’s case should be reviewed for further representation, considering whether the appeal is meritorious, falls within the VLP priority issue areas, has broad-based implications for low-income people and/or constitutes a legal error. If so, the volunteer may recommend that the case be sent for a second layer of merit-based screening by experienced appellate attorneys and legal services experts.
To sign up:
- If you have expertise in family law, housing, probate, guardianship, consumer law, employment law, or appellate procedure and are interested in volunteering to review potential appeals for merit, please contact Barbara Siegel at VLP. Volunteer attorneys on these Review Panels review cases identified by Clinic volunteers as possible candidates for representation on appeal. The Review Panels recommend whether the case should be referred to a law firm for full representation on appeal.
- If you are interested in handling appeals of consumer law or debt collection cases, please contact Cindy Palmquist at VLP.
- If you are a lawyer in an APBCO firm and are interested in volunteering at the Clinic, please contact the pro bono coordinator in your firm.
VLP with Boston-based members of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCO) operate the pro bono Civil Appeals Clinic.