Clinics & Projects

Housing Court Lawyer for the Day

Volunteer attorneys are needed to advise and represent low-income, unrepresented tenants and landlords at the Eastern Housing Court on Wednesday and Thursday 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. To sign up to assist at our LFD, please click here.

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.

Required Training:

  1. The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Training
  2. VLP’s Landlord- Tenant 101 Training
  3. 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).
  4. The Limited Assistance Representation video and materials 

Thank you for your commitment to helping our clients defend themselves against eviction and achieve housing stability.


  • 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.

Housing Lawyer for the Day Manual

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.

For more information

Contact Pro Bono Manager Emelia Andres

Email Us