Where to Find Legal Help
Many of the District
Courts (and even some other courts) in Massachusetts provide free legal assistance through Lawyer-of-the-Day programs. These programs provide residents the opportunity to sit down with a lawyer at their local courthouse and get free legal help on how to deal with a legal issue. Some programs are walk-in, some require an appointment. Usually the programs are on designated days of the week, once or twice a month. Call the clerk’s office at your local courthouse to see if such a program exists, whether an appointment is requirement, and any other particular requirements. The website for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a list of Massachusetts courts with phone numbers, hours of operation, jurisdiction and directions.
Massachusetts Trial Court Law Library
The website of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Library is a good resource on how to find a lawyer, including free or low cost legal assistance, legal referral programs and limited representation programs.
Many of the state bar associations have lawyer referral programs and in some cases offer basic legal assistance. These include:
Boston Bar Lawyer Referral Program
Their program will refer you to a local lawyer based on your legal issues and your geographic and language preferences.. The referral service is free. The first ½ hour of your consultation with an attorney is $25.00 or less. Be sure to check on the exact fee before the consultation starts. The contact number is (617) 742-0625, Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Massachusetts Bar Association Dial-A-Lawyer
The Massachusetts Bar Association, in addition to having a lawyer referral service, also has a monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program. Their Dial-A-Lawyer program offers free legal advice on the first Wednesday of the month between 5:30 PM and 7:30PM. The number to call is (617) 338-0610. You can talk with a lawyer about an issue of concern to you.
A TIP TO EMPOWER: When preparing for a meeting with a lawyer, whether in person or by phone, it is a good idea to organize your thoughts and concerns and write down your questions ahead of time. Have handy all the documents that you might need to refer to such as contracts, leases, rebate forms, gift certificates, etc.