Residents of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties
had the opportunity to have their legal questions answered through
the Massachusetts Bar Association's semiannual Western
Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer call-in program on the evening of June
More than 25 volunteer lawyers from the MBA fielded 177 phone
calls addressing legal concerns, including family related issues,
probate, real estate, consumer and elder law matters. The legal
advice was provided at no charge as a public service of the MBA.
Calls were answered and processed by MBA volunteers over a
three-hour period at the Western New England University School of
Law in Springfield.
Launched in 1994, the MBA's Western Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer
program entered its 20th year in 2014. The program is co-sponsored
by Western New England University School of Law, The Republican, El
Pueblo Latino, the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys
and the Hispanic National Bar Association.
The MBA has also hosted a monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program in
Boston since 1991, which is typically held on the first Wednesday
of every month.
"It feels great to be helping people out, and it's really
rewarding," said attorney Stephen J. Phillips, who has been a
Dial-A-Lawyer volunteer for many years. "I think people really look
forward to this date so their questions can be answered."
Phillips said he fielded a diverse group of calls during the
program, including questions on elder law, wills, power of
attorney, credit card debt and student loan debt.
Attorney Susan A. Mielnikowski also enjoys volunteering with the
Dial-A-Lawyer program because it provides such a beneficial service
to the residents of western Massachusetts.
"As a volunteer opportunity, it's a great way to feel like
you've provided some excellent assistance," said Mielnikowski. "You
can answer up to 25 or 30 questions in a night, so you really have
a terrific opportunity to talk to the community and answer their
The identities of both the callers and the attorneys are kept
confidential, which often makes callers feel more comfortable about
the questions they ask.
"It's a great opportunity for somebody who might be a little shy
to call an attorney, or maybe somebody who already has an attorney
and wants to have a second opinion," she added. "They can just pick
up the phone and get free legal advice."
The MBA thanks the following members for donating their time and
expertise to this important public service effort.
Corey M. Carvalho, University of Massachusetts Legal Services,
Mark D. Cress, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP,
Colleen C. Currie, Colleen C. Currie, Attorney at Law,
Hyman G. Darling, Bacon Wilson PC, Springfield
Michele Feinstein, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin PC, Springfield
Carmina D. Fernandes, Law Office of Carmina Fernandes, Ludlow
Albert F. Gordon, Albert Gordon Esq., Springfield
Devon W. Grierson, Aaronson & Associates PC, Pittsfield
David M. Hirschhorn, David Meir Hirschhorn, Attorney at Law,
Kimberly Klimczuk, Skoler Abbott & Presser PC,
Stephen R. Manning, Stephen R. Manning PC, East Longmeadow
L. Jeffrey Meehan, Doherty, Wallace Pillsbury & Murphy PC,
Amy J. Megliola, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield
Susan A. Meilnikowski, Cooley Shrair PC, Springfield
Keith A. Minoff, Law Offices of Keith A. Minoff, PC,
Daniel P. Morrissey, Bacon Wilson PC, Springfield
Stephen J. Phillips, Dunn & Phillips PC, Springfield
Michael J. Powers, Powers & Lequori, West Springfield
Andrea R. Reid, Law Office of Andrea R. Reid, Springfield
Juan M. Rivera, Juan M. Rivera Esq., Springfield
Katherine A. Robertson, Hampden County District Attorney's Office,
Daniel M. Rothschild, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP,
Barry M. Ryan, Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy PC,
Michael Siddall, Siddall & Siddall PC, Springfield
Gillian Szlachetka Dubay, Szlachetka Dubay PC, Chicopee
Gregory A. Wolf, Law Office of Gregory A. Wolf Esq., Pittsfield