Community Legal Aid (CLA)

  • To Volunteer, Contact:
    Gordon Shaw
  • 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). 

As the federally funded legal service provider for central and western Massachusetts, CLA administers both short-term, project- based opportunities and full case referrals to members of the private bar.   CLA offers a diverse array of opportunities to meet the unique skills and experience levels of our volunteers. Whether through a short-term lawyer-for-day program or full case referral, clients are screened for eligibility by CLA staff and then assigned to CLA Pro Bono Coordinators who provide ongoing support to our volunteers.


  • County(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Worcester
  • Area of law: Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Disability, Education, Family & Juvenile, Housing, Life Planning, Public Benefits, Guardianships of Incapacitated Persons, Probate, Gender Marker Changes
  • Populations Served: Children, Communities of Color, Detained individuals, Domestic Violence Victims, Elderly, Farm workers, 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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