Legal Services by Issue

Key

(H): Organizations or clinics affiliated with Harvard Law School
(N): National Organizations

Artists/Intellectual Property

  • (H) Cyberlaw Clinic of Berkman Center: Internet issues including intellectual property, privacy, and licensing. 617-495-7547
  • (H) Recording Artists Project: Represents aspiring recording artists, musicians, and emerging media companies in transactions and contract negotiations, and assists in contract creation and copyright issues. 617-384-5294
  • (H) Transactional Law Clinics: Intellectual property or entertainment law cases for artists and producers. 617-998-0101 
  • Lawyers Clearinghouse: Intellectual property cases for non-profits. 617- 778-1954
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts: Connects inquirers with free or low-fee representation, depending on eligibility; copyright, trademark, contracts. Required application online.
    617-350-7610

Business/Consumers

  • (H) Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program: Negotiation, mediation, dispute resolution design, or stakeholder/conflict assessment work for organizations. hnmcp@law.harvard.edu
  • (H) Predatory Lending Clinic (WilmerHale Legal Services Center): Consumer and credit issues. 617-522-3003
  • (H) Transactional Law Clinics: Transactional matters related to business law for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and community development organizations. 617-998-0101
  • Better Business Bureau: File a complaint about a business’ fraudulent practices.508-652-4800  
  • Bentley Consumer Action Line: Assists clients in resolving their cases informally without legal action. 800-273-9494; 781-891-2153 (out-of-state callers)
  • City of Boston Consumer Affairs & Licensing: Educates and mediates on behalf of Boston-area consumers. 617-635-3834
  • Consumer Protection Division: Consumer hotline; answers questions,  provides referral or mediation services.  617-727-8400
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation: Educates and ensures fair and honest business practices among the companies and licensees within their regulatory jurisdiction. Provides information on lemon laws, shopping rights, etc. 617-973-8787
  • (N) National Consumer Law Center: Handles consumer law cases. 617-482-0850

Bankruptcy/Credit

Criminal Defense 

(For cases involving prisoners, see the Prison section.)

Employment

Estate Planning/Wills

Enivronment

  • (H) Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic: Offers advice regarding litigation and legislative reforms of environmental issues. 617-496-2058
  • Alternatives for Community & Environment: Free advice and representation to community groups with environmental problems. Polluting businesses, development proposals, unhealthy air/water, vacant lots, noise, contaminated property, noxious odors, garbage dumping, run-down or no parks, flooding, unsafe traffic, etc. 617-442-3342 x235

Family/Child Support/Custody/Divorce/Domestic Violence/Restraining

  • (H) Domestic Violence Clinic (WilmerHale Legal Services Center): Custody, divorce, paternity, child support, property division, alimony. 617-390-2713
  • (H) Estate Planning Clinic: Obtaining guardianships and conservatorships for minors or the incapacitated. 617-290-2530
  • (H) Family Clinic (WilmerHale Legal Services Center): Represents primarily custodial parents.  Custody, divorce, paternity, LGBT adoptions, and guardianships. 617-390-2713
  • (H) Harvard Legal Aid Bureau: Divorce, getting child support/alimony, or getting custody of children; domestic violence and extending restraining order cases. 617-495-4408
  • Casa Myrna Vazquez: Provides trilingual (English/Spanish/Portuguese) and culturally diverse resources to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence, including shelter, transitional housing, divorce, custody, child support, visitation, contempt, modifications, and 209A cases. 617-521-0146;  877-785-2020 (24 hour hotline; 150 languages translated)
  • Greater Boston Legal Services (GLBS): Family Law Unit: Limited appearance representation available; divorce waitlist is open for domestic abuse victims with children. 800-323-3205
  • Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue/Child Support: Parent services representatives will assist any parent seeking child support by locating an absent parent, establishing paternity of a child born out of wedlock, paternity blood testing, and enforcing existing support orders.  800-332-2733
  • Merrimack Valley Legal Services: Representation in divorces involving abuse (and some representation for divorces not involving violence if parties have been separated at least one year with minor children), child guardianship when caller is at risk of losing (or has already lost) children, uncontested divorces. 800-336-2262; 978-458-1465 (For northeast MA only)
  • Shelter Legal Services: Provides legal services to homeless and low-income persons in domestic issues. 617-552-0623; info@shelterlegalservices.org
  • Victim Rights Law Center: Provides sexual abuse victims free civil legal assistance related to their abuse in the areas of safety, privacy, immigration, employment, education, housing, public benefits, and financial compensation. Provides brief assistance and orientation on the criminal prosecution of perpetrator. 617-399-6720
  • Women’s Bar Foundation: Family law matters, including restraining orders, divorce, custody/violation, Orders support, and modification, especially for battered women.  617-589-9420  

Health/Disabilities

  • (H) Administrative/Disability Litigation and Health Rights Clinic at LSC:  Cases where clients are appealing SSA disability application denials, denial of health insurance, representation of clients before administrative law judges and other health/disability related issues. 617-390-2524
  • (H) Education Law Clinic of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative: Cases where children have an entitlement to Medicaid mental health services through the new CBHI (Children's Behavioral Health Initiative). 617-998-0106
  • Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services: Cases where the mentally ill and/or disabled client believes his/her legal rights have been violated based on status as disabled person, including rights to services from mental health and other disability service agencies. Housing and public accommodation discrimination. Institutional rights and discharge advocacy from psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Guardianship defense. Special education cases for children with psychiatric disabilities. 617-693-2700
  • Disability Law Center: Information, referral, short-term assistance, and representation for the disabled. 800-872-9992, 617-723-8455  (Boston);  800-222-5619, 413-584-6337 (Western MA)
  • Greater Boston Legal Services: Disability and disability benefits related cases. 800-323-2305
  • Health Care for All Helpline: Explains health insurance options in the state. Helps callers apply for free or low-cost health insurance over the phone and makes referrals for help with a denial of care case or medical bills.800-272-4232
  • Health Law Advocates: Provides legal advice and representation to people with a denial of access to health care and/or health insurance. Also represent groups of consumers or communities. Doesn’t handle malpractice.617-338-5241
  • Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee: Wide range of cases involving mental health and disabilities. 617-338-2345 x20
  • (N) National Disabilities Rights Network: National resource for all disability-related cases. 202-408-9514
  • Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP): Info/referral, substance abuse services, respite, assistive technology. 800-223-2559; 617-204-3852

Housing

  • (H) Harvard Mediation Program: Landlord-tenant, neighbor-community, roommates, property co-owner cases. 617-495-1854
  • (H) Harvard Legal Aid Bureau: Works on behalf of tenants in danger of being evicted. 617-495-4408
  • (H) Post-Foreclosure Eviction/Housing Clinic (WilmerHale Legal Services Center): Post-foreclosure tenants being evicted by foreclosing banks or mortgage companies. Currently closed for intake.
  • (H) Predatory Lending Clinic (WilmerHale Legal Services Center): Predatory mortgage cases. 617-522-3003
  • (H) Tenant Advocacy Project: Evictions from public housing; denials of public housing applications, Section 8 mobile vouchers, and MRVP; transfer and residual tenancy denials; subsidy terminations for subsidies administered by a public housing agency like Section 8 and Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program; reasonable accommodation requests connected to the above. 617-495-4394    
  • (H) Transactional Law Clinics: Transactional matters relating to real-estate and homeowners. 617-998-0101
  • Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee: Representation of public housing tenants at informal conferences, private conferences, and grievance panel hearings. Also will advocate for tenants at eviction court hearings. Also will give general advice to tenants and help fill out pro se pleadings. 617-868-2900
  • Community Action Agency of Somerville: Helps tenants prepare eviction defenses and accompanies tenants to court. Can provide some advice and advocacy to people undergoing foreclosure. 617-623-7370
  • Homeowner Options for Mass. Elders (H.O.M.E.): In-home counseling on homeownership and finance issues to enable successful aging in place. Remainder of life planning, budgeting, income maximization, equity conservation, foreclosure prevention, consumer protection, and equity conversion. 781-848-5200
  • Massachusetts Division of Banks: Helps those with mortgage payments who risk losing their homes. 1-800-495-BANK  x2265
  • Somerville Community Corporation: Helps with housing search and mediates landlord/tenant disputes. 617-776-5931

Human Rights

  • (H) International Human Rights Clinic: Advice only on international human rights litigation, including cases that involve the Alien Tort Statute and cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 617-495-9362

Internet/Cyberlaw

Immigration

  • (H) Immigration and Refugee Clinic: Asylum immigration cases; occasionally taking Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) immigration cases. 617-384-8165
  • Boston University Asylum, Immigration, and Human Rights Clinic: Represents asylum seekers before the U.S.C.I.S. and in removal proceedings before Immigration Court. Handles Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases, restraining orders in Probate/Family Court, and other immigration/humanitarian cases. 617-603-1526
  • Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services: Handles immigration applications, represents clients before US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Immigration Court. Spanish and other languages available. 617-464-8100
  • Centro Presente: Legal immigration services including NACARA, TPS, family-based petitions, work permit renewals, fingerprints, adjustment of status, citizenship applications. Provides English and citizenship classes. 617-629-4731
  • City of Boston Immigration Clinic: Provides free immigration advice/assistance every first and third Wed. 617-635-2980
  • International Institute of Boston: Assistance in preparing applications for immigration matters including naturalization, refugee/asylee adjustments, marriage-based adjustments, refugee/asylee relative petitions, work authorization, replacement green cards, refugee travel documents, TPS, stand alone I-130s. Consult fee: $50. 617-695-9990
  • Irish Immigration Center: Provides legal advice, information, advocacy, and referrals for immigrants on issues relating to immigration, employment, citizenship, housing, and social services. 617-542-7654
  • Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition: Provides advocacy/referrals to immigrants. 617-350-5480
  • Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR Project): Works to secure safety and freedom for asylum seekers and to promote rights of immigrants unjustly detained. 617-742-9296

Discrimination/LGBT

Minors/Education

  • (H) Criminal Justice Institute: District court criminal accusations against juvenile delinquency. 617-495-8143
  • (H) Education Law Clinic of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative: Direct representation for families with children traumatized by exposure to violence or other adverse experiences (e.g., homelessness, born drug-addicted, death of a parent, parental substance abuse/mental illness, etc.) who may qualify for special education. School discipline cases related to a student's disabilities. Cases where children have an entitlement to Medicaid mental health services . 617-998-0106
  • (H) Harvard Mediation Program: Juvenile court cases. 617-495-1854
  • Children’s Law Center of MA: Education, suspensions/expulsions, special education, restraint and seclusion, homelessness, school issues, child welfare, juvenile justice, DCF custody, guardianship and CHINS. 781-581-1977
  • Disability Law Center: Abuse and neglect of disabled children and special education cases. 617-723-8455 (Boston); 413-584-6337 (Western MA)
  • Greater Boston Legal Services: Has a grant for child cases. 617-371-1234
  • Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC): Special education, school suspension/expulsion, other education matters. Prioritize children affected by trauma or with autism. 617-623-7370

Non-profits

Prison

Small Claims

Social Security/Welfare

  • (H) Administrative/Disability Litigation and Health Rights Clinic at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center: Social security disability for adults, only after second denial received. Cases where clients are appealing SSA disability application denials, denial of health insurance, representation of clients before administrative law judges and other health/disability related issues. 617-390-2524
  • (H) Education Law Clinic of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative: Cases where children have an entitlement to Medicaid mental health services through the new CBHI (Children's Behavioral Health Initiative). 617-998-0106
  • (H) Estate Planning Clinic at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center: In certain cases, assistance for setting up a special needs or supplemental needs trust to individuals receiving needs-based social security to preserve eligibility for such public benefits. 617-390-2530
  • (H) Harvard Legal Aid Bureau: Appealing the decision to deny social security benefits. Food stamps/welfare cases. 617-495-4408
  • Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau: Social Security disability appeals. 781-893-4793
  • Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income) (SSDI) denials at Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) stage, SSI/SSDI terminations and other issues (not SSI/SSDI Overpayments), DTA cases:  TAFDC (welfare), food stamps, MassHealth, EAEDC, EA shelter. 617-602-2700
  • Community Legal Services and Counseling: SSI/SSKI: denials, termination or reduction, disability review, work-related overpayment cases, and applications for people unable to apply on their own. 617-661-1010
  • Greater Boston Legal Services: Helps with wrongful denial of Medicare benefits/services. TAFDC, EAEDC, Food Stamps problems, disability and other exemptions, welfare reform rules, immigrant eligibility for welfare benefits, child care benefits, and welfare recipients’ access to job training or education. 800-323-3205
  • Legal Assistance Corporation of Central MA: Social Security, SSI, EAEDC (Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled, and Children), veterans’ benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, Food Stamps cases. Access to health care, including Medicaid, MassHealth, Medicare. 508-752-3718
  • Metrowest Legal Services: Basic welfare cases (cash assistance, EAEDC, food stamps, some SSI/SSDI cases). 800-696-1501;  508-620-1830

Taxes

Veterans

  • (H) WilmerHale Legal Services Center: Provides legal services to eligible veterans on a variety of matters, including Veterans Benefits (service-connected disability, pension, and other programs from the VA), Veterans’ Services benefits (from Massachusetts cities and towns), other public benefit programs, discharge upgrades, and designated civil matters. 617-522-3003
  • Shelter Legal Services: Provides legal services to low-income and homeless veterans. 617-552-0623; info@shelterlegalservices.org
  • Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: For veterans or veteran family members who need to appeal a state or federal benefits decision. Available Mons, 3-5 pm.  617-338-0572
Last modified: July 24, 2012

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