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Finding a Lawyer for Civil Cases in Superior Court

A guide to legal resources for self-represented litigants

You have the right to represent yourself in court without an attorney, but most people benefit from having an attorney. The law can be complicated, and large amounts of money and serious legal rights may be at stake in your case.

If you are the owner or officer of a corporation or other legal entity, and you are not an attorney, you cannot represent the corporation in court, only an attorney can. If a corporation or other legal entity, such as a trust, has no attorney to represent it, the corporation could lose the case by dismissal of the lawsuit or by what is called “entry of a default judgment.”

If you do not have an attorney, or if your attorney withdrew from your case, the resources listed under “Find an Attorney” below may help you find an attorney for yourself or for a corporation or other legal entity that needs one. Also provided here is information on Court Service Centers and public law libraries.

Table of Contents

Find an Attorney

The following groups help people find lawyers. The cost of legal services may vary depending on the provider and your income. Some services may cost less than others, and some may be free.

The programs include:

You can get an updated list of bar associations that help people find lawyers at Mass. Legal Resource Finder.

Also, you may be able to find low-cost legal representation from these organizations:

Limited Assistance Representation

You can hire an attorney for a specific part of your case, without paying the attorney for the whole case, if the attorney agrees. This is called “limited assistance representation” or “LAR.” This option may allow you to afford a lawyer for an important part of your case without committing to pay the lawyer over a long period of time. When you speak to lawyers about the possibility of representing you, you can ask if they are willing to represent you on a limited basis through LAR. 

To read more about this option, visit Limited Assistance Representation for the Public.

Court Service Centers

Staff at these Centers can give you legal information but not legal advice. In other words, staff can tell you how the court works and what legal options you may have, in a general way, but they cannot help you decide what to do or predict what will happen in your particular case. Court staff do not represent you or any other person or entity in a case, and so they are not limited to giving information only to one party; they can give information to any party in a case.

Court Service Centers generally do not assist with Superior Court matters. However, staff may be able to provide legal resources, web materials and information relating to these matters. Please visit us at Court Service Centers for more information on our services and how to connect with us.

Law Libraries

There are 15 law libraries located across Massachusetts that are open to the public. You can receive legal reference assistance, borrow books, and use print and electronic resources. Many services are available online, as well as in person. Law librarians are available to help with legal research and to provide legal information, but cannot provide legal advice. For more information on services and locations, please visit: Trial Court Law Libraries.

For more details on how to represent yourself if you are unable to find a lawyer or choose to represent yourself, please visit: Representing Yourself in a Civil Case.

Date published: November 15, 2021

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