Come to the Massachusetts Bar Association on Wednesday, June 13, for a “make your own sundae party” and answer legal questions from low-income Massachusetts residents through Mass Legal Answers Online (MLAO). Volunteer your time and offer assistance to people who are having legal difficulties and looking for guidance.
What is MLAO and how does it work?
MLAO is a legal advice website that is part of the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answer project, which also received funding from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA. Since the inception of the Massachusetts-based program, hundreds of qualified users have posted their civil legal questions online, and those questions have been answered by volunteer attorneys. When volunteer attorneys log in to the MLAO site, they will see a list of questions they can choose to answer. The questions are broken down by case type, which makes it easy for volunteers to choose what they would like to answer. MLAO is a limited-scope service in that all help is provided through the website, and there is no requirement or expectation for long-term representation. There is no fee for the use of the service or the advice/information provided by the attorney. Learn more about MLAO here.
So what is the blitz?
On June 13, volunteer attorneys will get together to answer legal questions that have been posted to the MLAO website. Volunteers will work together to research and develop answers to civil legal questions from the general public. There will be a short training session in advance of the blitz, and experienced attorneys from the Volunteer Lawyers Project and MLAO staff will also be available to help you respond to the posted questions. You’re welcome to continue providing this pro bono service after June 13 – from your desk, on the train, while waiting in court, etc. The most common types of questions are family, housing and consumer law.
What should I do next?
After clicking here to register, you will receive an email from the MBA with a link to MLAO. You will need to complete a quick online form from MLAO in advance of June 13.
Please bring a laptop if you have one!
Brian Reichart, Esq., Massachusetts Law Reform Institute