Should the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau be unable to assist you with your legal issue, the following organizations offer assistance for Phone Information and Advice, Private Lawyer Referral, Free Civil Legal Services, Non-Legal Advocacy, Criminal and Prisoner Issues, and Other Information.
Phone Information and Advice
Phone info/advice, pro se help, referrals for civil law issues (housing, family, employment, consumer, public benefits, health, estate planning, bankruptcy).
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on the First Wednesday of the month, lawyers answer basic legal questions and provide brief advice.
Librarians will assist with legal research.
Private Lawyer Referral
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Referrals to private attorneys in most areas (including criminal, civil rights, disability, domestic, and employment). 30-min. phone consultations for $15. Sliding scale fee agreements may be available.
Referrals to private attorneys for all types of cases. Income eligible callers get reduced fee referrals ($0-$25 for 1st 30-min. consultation).
Free self-help advice and referrals to private lawyers on any type of case.
9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Referrals to private attorneys for all types of cases, including contingency fee cases. Income eligible callers get reduced fee referrals (no more than $75/hr). No phone advice.
Free Civil Legal Services
Representation/advice for family (custodial parents only, pro se divorce clinic), housing (evictions, pro se clinics, some subsidy and shelter issues), public benefits, wage and hour (immigrants only), immigration (political asylum, battered women, unaccompanied minors, language access issues), and tax help.
Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services (CASLS)
(617) 603-2700 (Elder Unit)
Disability rights, special ed, benefits, housing (tenants only), and elder issues (benefits, housing, nursing, and protective services issues, guardianship defense, access to health care). Covers Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, and Belmont. Can also take some cases with higher income limits.
Housing (evictions and grievance hearings, pre-Notice to Quit), SSI/SSDI, family (custodial parents or domestic violence victims), immigration (political asylum, battered women, unaccompanied minors), and mediation on a sliding-scale fee basis.
Bankruptcy, consumer, family law (no domestic violence emergencies), guardianship of adults, housing (landlords and tenants – tenant intake through LARC), employment, and tort defense.
Information, advice, referral, and representation for disability-related civil legal issues (persons with disabilities only, no income limit).
Denial or termination of public or subsidized housing, Section 8 termination, and housing grievance hearings.
Bankruptcy, government benefits, employment, evictions (tenants only), family (custodial parents only), small business, and predatory lending.
Public service organization run by Harvard undergraduates that provides free legal infromation regarding Massachusetts small claims law and procedure (amounts less than $2000).
Non-legal advocacy for food stamps, MassHealth, and housing (pre-Notice to Quit, informal conferences, negotiation). Income not mandated by funding. Serves Cambridge and surrounding areas.
Criminal and Prisoner Issues
Civil Legal Services for Inmates
Show-cause hearings for clients facing upcoming criminal proceedings.
Legal services for inmates.
Other Useful Resources
Basic information about Massachusetts legal rights and pro se forms organized by topic for most major practice areas including benefits, consumer, disability, domestic violence, special education, elder, housing, and immigration.
Massachusetts Lawyers Diary (Red Book)
Telephone numbers for Massachusetts courts.
Out of Area
General legal services providers for all of Massachusetts with city name search and interactive map.
Out of state service providers.
Database of human services providers searchable by location and practice area.
Directory of human service offices in Massachusetts.
*Photo by Emma Raviv