Legal Assistance

The Legal Services Center (LSC) of Harvard Law School has a 33-year record of providing exemplary legal services to address the unmet needs of low- and middle-income families, primarily in Massachusetts’ Suffolk and Middlesex counties.  In a typical year, LSC provides legal services to over 1,200 households across numerous practice areas.  We work in the areas of predatory lending and consumer protection, post-foreclosure eviction defense, family law, domestic violence, estate planning, LGBT rights, disability benefits, and veterans legal services to provide a continuum of advocacy resources for our most vulnerable community members.

These practice areas are not silos.  We provide holistic legal advocacy wherever possible.  It is not uncommon for a client to be represented by LSC attorneys in a housing or consumer law case while simultaneously receiving representation from a different team of LSC attorneys in a disability or family law case.  This approach recognizes that few legal problems exist in isolation, emphasizes teamwork and coordination, and reduces the barriers that clients encounter when they are shuffled from one organization to another through a series of referrals.

LSC is able to provide advocacy to the community with such breadth and depth because we are also a clinical law teaching program in which dozens of Harvard Law students participate each semester.  The presence of talented and energetic law students increases our capacity to reach more clients with more services and enables us, despite our modest size, to tackle significant litigation against large and well-resourced adversaries.

We are committed to providing superior legal representation to our client communities.  As part of that commitment, we encourage community members to contact us to apply for legal assistance.  Please click on the following links to learn about our specific areas of specialization, how to apply for representation, and eligibility criteria:

The People’s Law School

In addition to direct legal representation for individual clients, we also maintain an active community legal education program.  Through the program—known as the People’s Law School—we provide educational workshops for the public on a range of important legal topics.  Using language and materials that makes the law clear and understandable, we conduct these workshops both on site at our Jamaica Plain offices and in other community locations.

If you are part of an organization, community group, or service provider and would like to request a People’s Law School workshop, please contact us at (617) 522-3003 and ask to speak to the People’s Law School Coordinator.  Past workshops have addressed topics such as:  debt collection issues, bankruptcy, tenant’s rights, military discharge upgrades, Massachusetts Veterans’ Services Benefits, Social Security overpayments and waivers, and estate planning and probate court.  But we welcome requests on any and all topics within our areas of practice expertise.