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
OCTOBER PRO BONO
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
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.
LOOKING AHEAD: UPCOMING PRO BONO
Mass Legal Answers Online (November launch, seeking
The MBA is a participant in Mass Legal Answers Online, an online
legal advice website (www.masslao.org) 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 www.masslao.org.
WBZ Call for Action -- Ask A Lawyer, Nov.
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)
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, MassProBono.org 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 MassProBono.org 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 www.MassProBono.org.