chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Center for Law and Education Pro Bono Education Law Project

105 Chauncy Street, 6th Floor, Suite
Boston, MA 02111
Telephone: (617) 451-0855
Email: [email protected]

The Center for Law and Education strives to make the right of all students to quality education a reality and to help enable communities to address their own education problems effectively, with an emphasis on assistance to low-income students.

CLE has developed enormous expertise about the legal rights and responsibilities of students and school personnel as well as about key education programs and initiatives, including Title I, career and technical education, student assessment, and special education.

CLE’s Pro Bono Education Law Project, a collaborative partnership with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School and Choate, Hall and Stewart, provides direct legal assistance to low-income students throughout the state who are being excluded from public school through disciplinary exclusion or as a result of an ineffective/inadequate education. Intake: Monday-Friday, 9:00am–6:00pm.

Child Advocacy Clinic Harvard University Law School

23 Everett Street
Cambridge, Ma 02138
Telephone: (617) 496-1684
Email: [email protected]

100% Children’s Law

The Child Advocacy Program (CAP) at Harvard Law School is committed to advancing children’s interests through facilitating productive interaction between academia and the world of policy and practice, and through training generations of students to contribute in their future careers to law reform and social change. CAP is committed to a broad vision of advocacy, working both in and outside of the courtroom, as well as across disciplinary lines. CAP’s Child Advocacy Clinic addresses a variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children, with a focus on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice.

Education Law Clinic

Trauma & Learning Policy Initiative
Harvard Law School

3085 Wasserstein Hall (WCC)
6 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA  02138
Phone: (617) 495-5200
Email: [email protected]
Website: Education Law Clinic/Trauma & Learning Policy Initiative | Harvard Law School

The Education Law Clinic is part of a program called the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI), a nationally recognized collaboration between Harvard Law School and Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), whose mission is to ensure that children impacted by family violence and other adverse childhood experiences succeed in school. To achieve this mission, TLPI uses multiple strategies to seek remedies for individual children, as well as laws and policies that provide schools with the knowledge and resources they need to meet the needs of all children. TLPI’s advocacy is based on interdisciplinary research and collaboration across a wide array of professional disciplines: education, psychology, neurobiology, medicine, social work, and public policy. Students in the Education Law Clinic help further TLPI’s mission by employing knowledge from these fields to advance the interests of traumatized children through legal representation and in the policy arena.

Students in the fall Clinic provide direct representation to parents/guardians whose children have been affected by family violence or other adverse experiences and who are not getting the special education services they need. Students receive direct one-to-one mentorship and develop a working knowledge of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Massachusetts special education laws.

Children and Family Law Division

Committee for Public Counsel Services

44 Bromfield
Boston, MA 02108
Telephone: (617) 482-6212

100% Children’s Law

Does Not Use Volunteer Attorneys

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) provides legal representation in Massachusetts for those unable to afford an attorney in all matters in which the law requires the appointment of counsel.

Lawyers in CPCS’s Children and Family Law Division (CAFL) represent children and parents in cases in which the Department of Children and Families (DCF) removes children from their homes because of claims of neglect or abuse. These cases are called care and protection (C&P) cases or termination of parental rights cases. CAFL also provides lawyers to children and parents in child requiring assistance (CRA) cases. Some CRA cases involve parents asking the Juvenile Court for help with challenges at home; others involve children who are truant from school or who run away from home. CAFL also represents children and parents in contested guardianship cases.

Most CAFL lawyers are private attorneys. Others are CPCS staff members, who work in partnership with CPCS staff social workers. Whether private or staff, CAFL lawyers protect the rights of parents and children to remain together whenever possible and their right to be reunited quickly when children are removed from their homes. CAFL also works to ensure that DCF and other agencies provide our parent and child clients the support and services they need and to which they are entitled under the law.

Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts, Inc.

298 Union St.
Lynn, MA 01901
Helpline: 1-888-KIDLAW8

100% Children’s Law

Does Use Volunteer Attorneys

The mission of the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts (CLCM) is to promote and secure equal justice and to maximize opportunity for low-income children and youth by providing quality advocacy and legal services.

CLCM maintains a helpline through which it provides legal assistance and resources and referrals to youth and others. The helpline is open M-TR (9:00 am – 5:00 pm). Through the helpline, CLCM provides information, resources, and referrals to callers statewide relating to the rights of children and youth in the areas of education, immigration, health and mental health, and system-involved youth. The helpline can be reached at 1-888-KIDLAW8 (1-888-543-5298). Bilingual assistance (Spanish) is subject to staff availability.

CLCM provides full, direct representation for children in Essex County. Please note CLCM does not represent parents or other adults. Callers living in Essex County may seek direct representation from CLCM through the helpline in cases involving education or immigration. CLCM also represents children by court appointment only in abuse & neglect, delinquency, and CRA cases. It cannot take these cases through the helpline.

Massachusetts Advocates for Children

25 Kingston St., 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Telephone:  (617) 357-8431
Hotline: (617) 357-8431 ext. 3224
Línea de ayuda: (617) 357-8431 ext. 3237
Hotline website:

Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) provides help for children who are facing barriers to receiving educational supports and services to which they are legally entitled. MAC’s priorities are children with disabilities, homeless children, children who have been expelled or suspended from school, and children traumatized by exposure to family violence or other adverse experiences.

MAC has always maintained a panel of private bar attorneys to take special education cases for children with disabilities of low-income clients on a pro bono basis. MAC identifies appropriate cases from calls to its Helpline and seeks an attorney willing and able to provide legal representation.

MAC does not take cases involving housing/eviction, or custody disputes. 

Disability Law Center, Inc.

11 Beacon St., Ste. 925
Boston, MA 02108
Telephone: (617) 723-8455
Email: [email protected]

25% Children’s Law

Does Use Volunteer Attorneys

The Disability Law Center, Inc. represents disabled children in many aspects of their lives, particularly educational rights of disabled students. Over 50 children’s law cases a year are handled by staff and volunteers. Some volunteers work in-house with the staff while others are assigned cases which the volunteer then controls. The staff is always available for support and information. Training is provided on an as-needed basis. The center also works with social workers, child development specialists, health care professionals and psychologists.

Impact litigation cases handled by the center include enforcing the provision of ongoing special education services to a child in a residential placement, enforcing the provision of education services in the least restrictive environment, and enforcing the provision of Medicaid funded personal care services to children living at home.

Suffolk University Law School Juvenile Defenders Clinic

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108
Telephone: (617) 305-1642

100% Children’s Law

Does Not Use Volunteer Attorneys

The Juvenile Defender Clinic advises and directly represents children charged with delinquency offenses in the Boston Juvenile Court. All aspects of delinquency cases are handled from arraignment through trial.

Juvenile Rights Advocacy Program

Boston College Law School

885 Centre St.
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Telephone: (617) 552-4382

100% Children’s Law

From representing teens to guiding immigration decisions and shaping policy, the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project (JRAP) engages with multiple facets of children’s law. JRAP specializes in representing and serving as Guardian ad Litem for youth in multiple systems, building ongoing relationships and maintaining a continuity of representation.

Attorneys and students collaborate with staff social workers and graduate social work students from the Boston College School of Social Work to provide clients with comprehensive, interdisciplinary assistance.

Medical-Legal Partnership Boston

Boston Medical Center
One Boston Medical Center Place
Boston, MA 02118
Telephone: (617) 638-8000

The Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston allies healthcare providers with lawyers to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Combining the strengths of law and medicine, MLP | Boston ensures that patients’ basic needs – for housing, food, education, healthcare and personal and family stability – are met.

Founded at Boston Medical Center, lawyers and front-line healthcare providers – doctors, nurses and social workers – are now partnered at over 180 hospitals and health centers nationwide, serving children, the elderly, patients with cancer, pregnant women, the formerly incarcerated reentry community and other vulnerable populations.

The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership supports the expansion, advancement, and integration of the medical-legal partnership model by providing technical assistance to partnership sites, facilitating the MLP Network, and coordinating national research and policy activities related to preventive law, health disparities, and the social determinants of health.

Volunteer Lawyers Project

7 Winthrop Square, 2nd Floor
Boston, Ma 02110
Telephone: (617) 603-1700
Email: [email protected]

10% Children’s Law

Does Use Volunteer Attorneys

In 1978 Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) began as a project of the Boston Bar Association, but is now a separate nonprofit organization that is staffed by eight attorneys and two paralegals. VLP recruits volunteer attorneys and law students through local bar associations, law firms and law schools as well as by offering free trainings. VLP utilizes 600 volunteer attorneys to handle 450 cases a year in a variety of legal matters for low income, U.S. citizens who are Boston area residents.

In the areas of children's law, VLP recruits and trains pro bono attorneys to represent children in SSI matters and to represent relatives or friends raising children who wish to formalize their arrangement through guardianship or adoption. These volunteer lawyers are mentored by the staff or by experienced pro bono attorneys.

Youth Advocacy Division

Committee for Public Counsel Services
7 Palmer Street, Suite 302
Roxbury, MA 02119-1776
Telephone: (617) 445.7581
Website: Youth Advocacy Division

100% Children’s Law

Does Not Use Volunteer Attorneys

The Youth Advocacy Division (YAD) ensures that every child from an indigent family in Massachusetts has access to zealous legal representation that incorporates a Youth Development Approach, resulting in fair treatment in court.  YAD works with each client to achieve both legal and life success.

YAD provides leadership, training, support, attorney mentoring, and oversight to a diverse and collaborative juvenile defense bar across the state. Through individual representation in juvenile delinquent and youthful offender cases, and systemic advocacy, YAD partners with other state agencies, as well as community organizations and local agencies, to work toward creating safer and healthier communities.   In juvenile murder cases, lawyer assignments are usually made from a list of attorneys specially skilled in representing juvenile murder defendants.

Each year, YAD’S staff attorneys and private counsel panels represent thousands of children across the state, providing quality representation to children in all stages of the juvenile justice process, and we do it in a dedicated, caring, and zealous manner.