Fair Debt Collection Lawyer for the Day and Discovery Clinic
By appointment at 99 Chauncy St.
|Boston Municipal Court
Wednesdays on the 5th Floor of the Edward Brooke Courthouse 9 AM - 11:30 AM AND Thursdays 1 PM - 3 PM
|Quincy District Court Small Claims
First Tuesday of the month 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM, 2nd Floor
|Cambridge District Court Small Claims
First and Third Thursdays of the month 8:45 AM - 10:30 AM
This project provides pro bono lawyers to low-income, unrepresented debtors and creditors to assist in their civil debt collection lawsuits.
Volunteer attorneys assist low-income debtors and creditors at on a Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) basis. The representation begins and ends on the same day.
In addition to being a valuable service to the court and the low-income litigants assisted, the Fair Debt Collection Attorney for the Day Projects offer a unique opportunity for newer attorneys to get courtroom experience in a supportive environment. Less experienced attorneys may pair up with or shadow more experienced attorneys until they are ready to handle a case on their own. Because this is a Limited Assistance Representation project, it is also a great, time-limited pro bono opportunity for busy attorneys who want to help but have limited time. This project is a great way to meet and network with other attorneys.
How It Works
Clients come to the project in a number of ways - most are referred by the judges or court clerks, and some just walk up to our table. When a potential client comes to the table, a paralegal or law student screens for eligibility to ensure that we only help low-income clients. A VLP attorney or experienced volunteer coordinates the project and matches clients with a volunteer. Attorneys with consumer law experience are available for mentoring and guidance. Volunteer attorneys may provide advice, brief service such as help drafting pleadings, or limited assistance representation negotiating a settlement or arguing a motion in front of a judge. We have forms, files, reference materials and other necessary items for volunteer attorneys.
At the Boston Municipal Court project clients are usually there to attend a case management conference or motion hearing. At the Small Claims sessions clients usually have a trial or a payment review hearing.
SIGN UP FOR A FAIR DEBT COLLECTION CLINIC
Boston Municipal Court (Directions)
• Wednesdays on the 5th Floor of the Edward Brooke Courthouse from 9AM-12PM AND Thursdays at 1pm (Small Claims)
Quincy District Court Small Claims (Directions)
• Tuesdays at 1:30PM, 2nd Floor
Cambridge District Court Small Claims (Directions)
• Thursdays at 8:45AM
You may also sign up or get more information by emailing Emily Jarrell.
This is a joint effort of the Volunteer Lawyers Project and Senior Partners for Justice.
SIGN UP FOR THE DISCOVERY CLINIC
VLP clients often need further assistance after visiting one of our Fair Debt Collection Lawyer for the Day clinics. A client may need help filing an answer, a motion to remove default, and answering and requesting discovery documents. VLP holds a discovery clinic in our office on the second Wednesday of the month from 2-4PM to assist clients with these documents. To learn more or help please contact our Bankruptcy Paralegal.
Get the Training You Need to Volunteer
For volunteer attorneys, free substantive consumer and collection law training materials are available. Sign up for the VLP website to access the materials. Check www.vlpnet.org for upcoming training dates.
Because this project is a Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) project, the attorney must complete the LAR training. The training is part video or live training and part written materials.
VLP provides malpractice insurance for all pro bono work done under this project.