Volunteer with the MBA during Pro Bono Month

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016
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In October, the Massachusetts Bar Association is proud to join attorneys around the country in support of Pro Bono Month -- a collective effort by the bar at large to promote volunteerism as a way to meet the legal needs of the most vulnerable people in our society. Pro bono service is an important part of being an attorney in Massachusetts, and is included as a component of the Practicing with Professionalism course that all new attorneys are required to take. We encourage you to volunteer for one of our upcoming pro bono initiatives.


Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer, Oct. 26 (Springfield)
The MBA holds a semi-annual Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer in Springfield, where volunteer attorneys answer legal questions from members of the public. The program is co-sponsored by Western New England University School of Law (which hosts the call-in center), The Republican, El Pueblo Latino, the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys and the National Hispanic Bar Association. The next Western Mass. Dial-A-Lawyer is Oct. 26, from 4-7 p.m.

To volunteer, call (617) 338-0670.

Criminal Record Sealing Seminar (Oct. 27) & Pro Bono Opportunities
The MBA is collaborating with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) to recruit attorneys to help clients from low-income communities seal their records and break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. The project seeks volunteers to represent a pro bono client in their region of the state court and/or provide limited assisted representation. Attorneys of all backgrounds are encouraged to volunteer to take a case or help with our community outreach. The required time commitment is likely less than 25 hours, and GBLS provides training, materials and mentoring. Join us for a seminar, where you can also sign up to volunteer.


Mass Legal Answers Online (November launch, seeking volunteers)
The MBA is a participant in Mass Legal Answers Online, an online legal advice website ( that is part of the American Bar Association's Free Legal Answers project. The website, expected to launch in November 2016, is seeking volunteers to answer questions posed by eligible Massachusetts residents.

  • Choose the questions you want to answer -- when, where and how it's most convenient for you.
  • No required time commitment, although we encourage you to answer at least one question a month.
  • Open to all attorneys in good standing who are licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, or registered for pro bono status with the Board of Bar Overseers.
  • Malpractice coverage provided to volunteer attorneys for legal guidance provided through the website.

Sign up today at

WBZ Call for Action -- Ask A Lawyer, Nov. 30
Volunteers are needed for the Nov. 30 Ask-A-Lawyer call-in program, presented jointly by the MBA, WBZ Call for Action and WBZ NewsRadio 1030. Volunteer lawyers from the Mass. Bar Association will be at the WBZ studios to field phone calls from members of the public from 7 to 9 p.m.

To volunteer, call (617) 338-0670.

Elder Law Education Program
Volunteers from the MBA's Elder Law Education Program organize free educational presentations about elder law throughout the commonwealth in the spring in celebration of Law Day. They also produce, "Taking Control of Your Future: A Legal Checkup," the MBA's resource guide on a wide range of legal issues affecting the lives of seniors. The Elder Law Education Program is made possible due to the assistance and cooperation of both the MBA's Health and Probate Law section councils and the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

To volunteer, call (617) 338-0695.

Section 35 Helpline
Launched by former MBA President Robert W. Harnais in 2016, the MBA's Section 35 Helpline is a free legal assistance program to help those who are seeking court-ordered inpatient treatment for a family member or friend struggling with opioid addiction. Volunteers offer assistance with a state law, known as "Section 35" (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 123, Section 35), which permits individuals to petition the courts to involuntarily commit substance abusers to an inpatient treatment program when their alcohol or drug use puts themselves or others at risk.

Launched by the Volunteer Lawyers Project, in partnership with Pro Bono Net, the Massachusetts Legal Aid Websites Project and the Massachusetts Bar Association, is a comprehensive pro bono "marketplace" for would-be volunteers across Massachusetts. The centerpiece of the site is a Pro Bono Opportunities Guide, developed in partnership with the MBA, which has built an extensive statewide listing of pro bono opportunities. The Pro Bono Opportunities Guide on builds on the MBA's pro bono catalogue and incorporates the interactive functions of the Pro Bono Net platform to create a robust new tool to promote pro bono engagement.

To join MassProBono and review the array of pro bono opportunities, visit