Hampden County Legal Clinic
The Hampden County Legal Clinic (HCLC) is a public service of the Hampden County Bar Association and is sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group. The Legal Clinic offers a variety of pro bono opportunities for attorneys including Lawyer for Day Programs in the Housing, District and Probate Court as well as conciliations, DOR Contempts and LAR. Our primary focus is to provide legal advice and/or representation for individuals who would not otherwise have the means to obtain the knowledge, support and services we provide. These programs increase access to justice, improves judicial efficiency, affords pro bono opportunity to Hampden County lawyers and improves the public image of lawyers. Click here for a guide to pro bono opportunities in Hampden County.
Probate Court Programs
Lawyer-for-a-Day. The volunteer provides limited legal advice and assistance with forms primarily related to divorce and child custody and support matters.
Pre-Trial/LAR Project. The volunteer provides legal assistance to indigent litigants on the day of their court hearing. Volunteer lawyers provide a range of services including advice, assistance with completing court forms, negotiation and representation in the courtroom. Attorneys must be LAR certified.
DOR Contempts. The volunteer represents defendants in child support contempt hearings if the defendant is facing the possibility of incarceration.
Conciliation. The volunteer assists the parties with settling a case by clarifying the issues and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each side of the case. If the case is not settled, conciliation explores the steps that remain to prepare the case for trial. Volunteers need to successfully complete a conciliation training course.
Click here to volunteer for any of the Probate & Family Court programs
District Court Lawyer for a Day
The volunteer provides assistance to litigants with civil District Court cases by providing guidance and advice, locating self-help resources and identifying the issues they may be facing. The program operates every Wednesday from 1-4 and Thursdays from 9-4 in the Hampden County Hall of Justice. There is no court time associated with this program and volunteers are here in an advisory capacity only. The types of issues covered in this program are small claims, supplementary process, summary process/eviction, civil motor vehicle infraction, civil harassment, criminal/application for show cause and all other general civil questions. Volunteers do problem-solving, guide the consumers with forms and provide legal advice on civil issues.
Click here to volunteer for the District Court Lawyer for the Day Program.
Housing Court Lawyer for the Day
The volunteer provides income eligible landlords and tenants with free legal assistance in Housing Court every Thursday, which is Summary Process/Eviction day. The Housing Court Lawyer for the Day may be called upon to file a court appearance, on the day they volunteer only, in order to represent the client in their eviction case. The volunteers may also advocate for the clients through mediation with a court specialist.
Attorneys interested in volunteering, can contact the legal clinic directly at (413) 733-6500 or can Sign-Up online. Sign-Up Genius offers a simple and convenient way to Sign-Up for our volunteer programs at your leisure. If you would like to be added to our volunteer distribution email list please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The HCLC works in conjunction with the Western New England University School of Law’s Housing Clinic, MassMutual Corporate Law Department, Women’s Bar Foundation and Community Legal Aid.