Hampden County Bar Association Serving Lawyers, the Justice System and the Public
Hampden County Bar Association
P.O. Box 559 ยท 50 State Street
Springfield, MA 01102-0559
P: (413) 732-4660
F: (413) 732-6882
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The Hampden County Legal Clinic (HCLC) is a pro bono program of the Hampden County Bar Association (HCBA) which strives to continually improve access to justice for the underserved in Hampden County through volunteer efforts of legal professionals. The HCLC provides free essential legal and law-related services to area residents in need through a variety of pro bono initiatives and community-based programs. There are no income restrictions or other limitations on participation in HCLC programs. The HCLC is generously sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance CompanyMassMutual Foundation, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation.  

 

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How can I get help?

In-office Programs:

District Court Lawyer for a Day

This program serves self-represented litigants with matters that fall within the general civil jurisdiction of the District Court. These include debt collection, consumer protection, small claims, civil harassment, civil motor vehicle infractions, and general court procedure. Volunteer lawyers provide legal advice and may assist with filling out forms. The program operates out of the HCBA office on most Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., subject to change due to volunteer availability. Please call 413-733-6500 to confirm hours.

Probate Court Lawyer for a Day

This program serves self-represented litigants with matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Probate and Family Court. Volunteer lawyers provide legal advice and may assist with filling out forms on a variety of family and probate matters such as divorces, child support/custody, guardianships, and estate administration. This program operates out of the HCBA office on a bi-weekly basis on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., subject to change due to volunteer availabilityPlease call 413-733-6500 to confirm hours.

Landlord/Tenant Clinic Lawyer for the Day

This program serves self-represented litigants with matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Housing Court. Volunteer lawyers provide legal advice to landlords and tenants about the preparation of notices to quit, complaints, and responsive pleadings in eviction cases. The program operates out of the HCBA office on most Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., subject to change due to volunteer availability. Please call 413-733-6500 to confirm hours.

Court-Based Programs:

Western Division Housing Court Lawyer for a Day

This program, run in partnership with Community Legal Aid, matches volunteer lawyers with landlord and tenant litigants who have eviction cases on the docket that day in Housing Court. Volunteers provide counsel and advice, prepare court forms such as answers and motions, assist with mediations, and may appear on behalf of clients for hearings and trials. Volunteers assist in-court litigants during the summary process (eviction) sessions on Thursday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
 

Probate & Family Court Conciliation and LAR/Pre-Trial Programs

The HCLC coordinates the calendar for two volunteer programs operating in the Hampden County Probate and Family Court. The Conciliation program provides trained neutrals who assist parties in mediating their disputes, and the LAR/Pre-Trial program assists self-represented individuals during their in-court pretrial conference. The programs operate on various dates throughout the month, subject to volunteer availability.

District Court Consumer Debt Initiative

The Consumer Debt Initiative serves self-represented litigants who are defending credit card collection actions that are filed by debt buyers in the Springfield District Court Small Claims session. Volunteer lawyers provide counsel and legal advice, negotiate with opposing counsel, draft settlement agreements, and may appear on behalf of consumers for hearings and trials. Clients may also be connected with financial literacy education materials and local resources addressing consumer debt. This program operates each week on Wednesdays and Fridays (except for the last week of the month) from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., subject to volunteer availability.

Community-Based Programs:

Question and Answer Forums

The HCLC puts on several community-based legal advice and information events throughout the year. These forums are held at various locations, including public libraries, businesses, community centers, and senior centers. The discussions consist of a broad range of topics, including consumer debt, estate planning, elder affairs, landlord/tenant, family law, and consumer protection matters. Please call our office for more information at 413-733-6500 or via email.

Legal Help Hotline

The HCBA partners with WNEU Law School and Western Mass News to run a Legal Help Hotline four times per year. These hotlines allow the public to call in and speak with a local, experienced attorney free of charge on a variety of legal topics. Callers are given guidance on navigating the legal system and receive advice on how to move forward with their case.

How Do I Contact the HCLC?

The HCLC operates Monday thru Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We can be reached via email or by phone at (413) 733-6500.

 

Thank you to our Funders:   

 



 




 


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Thank you to our Sponsors: 

  


 

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