Over 40,000 people living in MetroWest are considered impoverished. The need for legal services among this group is staggering. Each year thousands of individuals who live below the poverty level are denied access to justice because they cannot afford a lawyer. The results can be catastrophic for them and their families. As a PBI attorney, you have the power to change that outcome and make a difference that will have a profound effect on a person’s life.
We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities depending on your interests, skill level and time commitment. As a PBI volunteer, you can help with everything from full representation of a client to acting as a mentor to a new attorney. Depending on your needs, we can create an opportunity that will not only benefit our clients, but will give you a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Currently, we have a need for volunteers in the following areas:
- Wills & Estates
- Special Education
- Child Support
- Assistance to non profit organizations
- Tax issues
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxies
- Lawyer for the Day (Marlboro Probate and Family Court)
We truly appreciate the time and effort our volunteer panel spends with our clients. Recognizing that you have busy schedules, we make every effort to assist you in any way possible. Each case referred to the PBI panel is extensively screened by our Pro Bono Coordinator to determine its complexity and any potential issues that may come up.
- Interview and conference rooms, use of our computers to prepare petitions and complaints, and access to our library for legal research;
- Bi- and tri-lingual staff members for meetings and correspondence with clients who do not speak English;
- Professional liability insurance coverage for all panel members handling cases referred by us;
- Free training for individuals and group training to panel members, as well as free course materials. Trainings occur annually for divorce and bankruptcy law. Others are scheduled on an as-needed basis. If we are not currently offering a training in a certain specialty, we have arrangements with many of the other legal services agencies to find a session that meets your needs. We also have a limited number of discount vouchers for MCLE trainings. With a voucher, the cost of a one day training is $25;
- Mentors are available upon request. The Pro Bono Coordinator is available to answer all legal and procedural questions you may have regarding your case.
Lawyer For The Day Program
Every Thursday, a PBI attorney is available from 9am – 1pm at the Middlesex Probate & Family Court session in Marlborough to assist walk-in clients with family law issues. In conjunction with a staff member from Voices Against Violence, the attorney assists pro se litigants with paperwork and answers questions about family law cases. The attorney does not represent the litigant in court that day.