Community Legal Aid (CLA)

  • To Volunteer, Contact:
    Meredith Palmer
  • Organization Type: Nonprofit Legal Services Provider

Community Legal Aid is the civil legal aid provider for low income and elderly residents of central and western Massachusetts (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Worcester counties). 

Community Legal Aid’s Pro Bono programs greatly enhance our ability to make justice real for our clients. Through our programs, we refer hundreds of cases a year to attorneys with all levels of experience working in private practice, corporations, and government. We offer a diverse array of opportunities to meet the unique skills and experience levels of our volunteers. Whether through a lawyer-for-day program or direct referral system, cases are screened for eligibility by CLA staff and then assigned to CLA Pro Bono Coordinators who provide ongoing support to our volunteers.

Listing and projects up-to-date as of October 2023.

  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Worcester
  • Area of law: Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Disability, Education, Elder Law, Employment, Family & Juvenile, Homeless, Housing, Immigration & Naturalization, Life Planning, Public Benefits, Veterans, Guardianships of Incapacitated Persons, Probate, Gender Marker Changes
  • Populations Served: Asylum Seekers, Children, Communities of Color, Detained individuals, Domestic Violence Victims, Elderly, General Public, Human Trafficking Survivors, Immigrants, Individuals with criminal histories, Individuals with physical/mental disabilities, Lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender, Low Income, Military/Veterans, Persons with Disabilities, State Residents, Torture survivors, Women, Working poor and unemployed
  • Opportunities For: Lawyers, Mentors, Mentors/consultants, Senior Lawyers, Small and medium law firm attorneys
  • Need for non-English services: Arabic, Cantonese Chinese, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Evenings, Flexible, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • Training / Supervision Comments: We offer periodic trainings on various subject matters, written toolkits and resources, and mentorship.
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: Yes
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Other Case Load Requirements: Flexible
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Litigation: Trial/Direct Representation, Mentor volunteer lawyers or law students
  • Other Project Types: Lawyer for the Day, Conciliation, Medical-Legal Partnerships, Estate Planning Clinics
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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