Clinics & Projects
Housing: LFD and A&D
Housing Lawyer for the Day (LFD) Clinic
Volunteer attorneys are needed to advise and represent low-income, unrepresented tenants and landlords at the Eastern Housing Court on Tuesday mornings and afternoons. Most cases are for evictions.
The Lawyer for the Day (LFD) Program operates in the Eastern Housing Court (the Edward Brooke Courthouse: 24 New Chardon St, Boston, MA 02114), on the 5th Floor outside of Courtroom 10.
The LFD program allows volunteer attorneys to work with pro se litigants in court. Clients have a court event scheduled for that same day, which is usually mediation, though some may be scheduled for hearings. Clients seek advice or information to prepare for their court event, assistance in preparing pleadings or motions, and/or representation or negotiation.
Volunteer attorneys join the EHC Zoom and are placed into the LFD breakout room with VLP staff (paralegal and staff attorney) to wait for the court to send in a litigant. While waiting, attorneys can be off-camera and muted to do other work. A VLP staff attorney is always present and available for mentoring and support. Volunteers may shadow a VLP staff attorney, or work individually or in pairs/groups.
Schedule: Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the Month until further notice from 9:00 am – 12:00pm and from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. To sign up to assist at our LFD, please click here. You must be a licensed attorney to sign up for the volunteer slot.
Commitment: Training and 3 hours of work, depending on availability. After participating in LFD, volunteers are able, but not required, to extend their limited representation to future court mediations or hearings. The extended limited representation varies and can range from 3-5 hours. No experience is necessary, as VLP provides an assigned staff attorney to provide mentoring and support.
- The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Training
- VLP’s Landlord- Tenant 101 Training
- Review the Limited Assistance Representation (“LAR”) video and materials found here. These materials describe best practices for maintaining your limited representation. After you complete the one-time training, you are certified to take a case for a limited time period or limited purpose (e.g., a court mediation or court hearing).
- The Limited Assistance Representation video and materials
Thank you for your commitment to helping our clients defend themselves against eviction and achieve housing stability.
Attorneys provide Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) to clients, meaning they are only involved in the case for that day. Not trained in LAR? Watch a training and read required materials.
Housing Lawyer for the Day Manual
- Notice of Appearance
- Notice of Limited Appearance
- Notice of Withdrawal of Limited Appearance
- Affadavit of Indigency
- Instructions for Affadavit of Indigency
- Statement of Material Facts
- Temporary Restraining Order
- Verified Complaint
- Request for Reasonable Accommodation
- BHA Request for Reasonable Accommodation
- Request for Interpreter
- Blank Motion
- Motion to Amend Agreement with Instructions for Negotiating Settlement
- Motion for Continuance
- Agreement for Continuance
- Stipulation to Continue
- Blank Agreement
- Agreement for Judgement
- Sample Language for Agreement for Judgement
- Notice of Voluntary Dismissal
- Stipulation of Dismissal
- Stipulation to Reinstate Tenancy with Instructions
- Stipulation to Vacate with Instructions
- Referral List
- Security Deposit and 93A Demand Letter
- Things to Know for Mediation
- Cosas que Necesita Saber para la Mediación
- Tips for Mediation at Boston Housing Court
- Consejos para Mediación en la Corte de Vivienda de Boston
- How the Eviction Process Works
- Como Funciona el Proceso de Evicción
- Eviction Timeline
- Negotiation a Settlement without a Lawyer
- Realizando su Defensa Contra Desalojo
- Representing Yourself in an Eviction Case
- Things to Bring to Court and Show the Judge
- Cosas para Traer a la Corte y Mostrar al Juez
- Things to Say to the Judge
- Tenants Rights in Foreclosure Case
- Derechos de Inquilinos y Ejecución Hipotecaria
- Tenants Rights After a Foreclosure Case
- Important Information for Landlords and Tenants
- Información Importante para Propietarios e Inquilinos
- Landlord Pro Se Information
- Landlord Frequently Asked Questions
- Security Deposits and Last Month’s Rent
- Landlord’s Duty to Make Repairs During Tenancy
- Landlord Small Claims Information
- Landlord Liability with Section 8 Housing
- Landlord End of Tenancy Eviction Process
- Landlord Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodation
- Carbon Monoxide Information
- General Resource List
- Legal Resources Referrals
- Boston Shelters
- Boston Shelters for Women
- Sample Language for Agreement for Judgement to Preserve EA Eligibility
- Emergency Money Resource List
- Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Information
- Información sobre el Crédito Tributario por Ingreso del Trabajo
- Free Tax Preparation Services
- Fuel and Utility Assistance
- Massachusetts Domestic Violence Hotline
- Utility Rights and Protections
- Area Planning Action Councils and Neighborhood Service Centers
- Residential Assistance for Families in Transition FY2018
- Housing Counseling Agencies for Elders
- Furniture Resources
- Housing Court Standing Order on LFD
- Massachusetts Hoarding Information
- Tenant Rights in Foreclosure
- Derechos de Inquilinos y Ejecución Hipotecaria
- Tenant Rights in Building Foreclosure
- HomeBASE Emergency Shelter
- HomeBASE y Albergue de Emergencia
- Eviction Prevention
- Massachusetts Senior Legal Helpline
- Linha de Apoio Jurídico para Idosos em Massachusetts
- Línea de Ayuda Legal para Personas Mayores de Massachusetts
- Liy èd Legal pou Pèsonaj yo Nan Massachusetts
- Transfering Your Housing Case
- Boston Tenancy Preservation Project Information
- Food Resource Guide
- Emergency Money Resource List
Housing Answer and Discovery (A&D) Clinic
Volunteer attorneys or paralegals are needed to advise clients who have been served with a Notice to Quit and a Summons and Complaint and need help with preparing an answer and request for discovery.
- Volunteers will help clients generate their Answer and Discovery forms using the GBLS “MADE” tool. MADE was created for pro se litigants to independently generate answer and discovery forms.
- Assist with drafting primary forms, including notices of transfer to housing court and check box motions to dismiss.
- No experience is necessary. VLP provides training videos and staff support during the clinic.
How it Works:
- VLP hosts the A&D Clinic on Zoom.
- In advance of the clinic, you will be provided with a summary of the case and relevant documents, clinic guide, Zoom link, and volunteer login for VLP’s case management site, Legal Server.
- When you join the Zoom, a VLP staff person will place you into a breakout room and make sure you are logged in to the case management system and set up with the MADE program.
- A VLP staff attorney will discuss the case briefly with you and answer any questions.
- When ready, VLP will place you and the client into a breakout room.
- A VLP staff attorney is always logged in for mentoring and support at any time during the consultation. The VLP staff attorney will also review all documents at the end of the consultation.
- Time spent viewing training materials and 2-4 hours clinic commitment
- Volunteers are then allowed to extend their limited assistance, usually 3-5 hours, if they would like to assist the client at future court or mediation hearings.
Housing Answer and discovery manual
BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING
- Limited Assistance Representation means you start and finish with your client on the same day; no greater commitment with court proceedings or legal services needed.
- Mentorship: Our newer attorneys learn from more experienced attorneys, and more seasoned lawyers get the chance to mentor and guide.
- Networking: Meet fellow attorneys in your area of practice and get connected with other legal professionals.
The Volunteer Lawyers Project provides primary malpractice insurance for all pro bono work.
If you don’t have experience in housing cases, we strongly suggest that you attend one of VLP’s free Housing Law 101 classes before volunteering. Please check our calendar for upcoming training dates.