Free legal help
You may be eligible for free legal help.
The best place to find the programs that offer free legal help is the Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder website. It will ask you to answer a few simple questions to find programs for you.
If you’re involved in a criminal case, in most circumstances, you may have a lawyer appointed to you if the court decides you can’t afford a lawyer. You might also have the right to a court-appointed lawyer in some civil cases that involve the loss of a civil liberty, such as a mental health commitment or losing parental rights.
Committee for Public Counsel Services
CPCS is responsible for providing a lawyer if you can't afford one, in any type of case where the law requires an attorney to be provided.
Lawyer for the Day programs
In some courts, there are programs where volunteer lawyers spend a day helping people with their cases. These are called Lawyer for the Day programs. Each Lawyer for the Day program provides different types of help.
Check with the court where your case is to find out:
- If there is a Lawyer for the Day program
- If the program handles your type of case
- The days and hours the volunteer lawyers are at the court
Limited Assistance Representation (LAR)
Typically, lawyers represent clients for a whole case. However, there is a way to get legal help just for part of a case. This is called Limited Assistance Representation (LAR). With LAR, you and a lawyer agree what parts of a case you will handle and what parts the lawyer will handle. In other words, you limit what the lawyer does.
You can use LAR for any part of a case, including helping you with legal documents, arguing for you in a court event, or negotiating a settlement.
LAR can save you money in legal fees. With LAR it also may be easier to get a volunteer or pro bono lawyer. Why? Because LAR allows a lawyer to help you without committing to represent you for the whole case.
Lawyer referral services
Lawyer referral services can help you find a lawyer. Bar associations – professional groups for lawyers – often have referral services. Some nonprofit organizations also have referral services. Each of the following groups has information about how to find a lawyer.
- American Bar Association
- Massachusetts Bar Association
- Boston Bar Association
- Essex County Bar Association
- Franklin County Bar Association
- Hampden County Bar Association
- Hampshire County Bar Association
- Middlesex County Bar Association
- Norfolk County Bar Association
- Plymouth County Bar Association
- Worcester County Bar Association
Please also see Lawyer Referral Services from Mass. Legal Resource Finder.
Additional information and resources can be found on the Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder website. Answer a few questions about your legal issue, income, and location, and get a tailor-made list of sources just for you.
Search for a lawyer by name, location, or specialty
Search by name or location
To locate an attorney by name or location, go to Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers and enter the information in the Look Up an Attorney menu item.
The Mass. Board of Bar Overseers also handles complaints about lawyers. Here, you can search or browse disciplinary and reinstatement decisions.
You can also look up lawyers by clicking on Look Up an Attorney in the menu at the top of the page to see if there has been any "Public Discipline" against them.
Search by specialty
Martindale-Hubbell is the country's most well-known legal directory. Here you can browse attorneys near you by specialty.