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On this website, you can learn about your legal rights in Massachusetts. Our content is written and reviewed by legal aid programs, lawyers, and community partners.

We are run by a nonprofit — we will never charge you anything to use this website. Our goal is to help people in Massachusetts get the information they need to solve their non-criminal legal problems.

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Who runs MassLegalHelp?

MassLegalHelp is run by the Legal Aid Websites Project at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. Our other websites include:

Who funds MassLegalHelp?

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation provides ongoing financial support for MassLegalHelp. The Civil Legal Aid for Victims of Crime (CLAVC) initiative funded some of the materials on MassLegalHelp that are intended for victims of crime. The CLAVC Initiative is supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

How do I contact MassLegalHelp?

You can send feedback about MassLegalHelp through our contact form. We can’t give you legal advice through this contact form. Instead, see our Find a Lawyer page.

What is legal aid?

Legal aid, also called legal services, is free legal help for people who do not have very much money.

Lawyers divide legal problems into 2 groups, criminal and civil.

Criminal: If you have committed a crime or you are accused of committing a crime, your legal problem is a “criminal” one. Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) and private lawyers help people who have a criminal legal problem.

Civil: If your legal problem is not a criminal one, it is a “civil” legal problem. Legal aid lawyers help people who have civil legal problems. Use the Legal Resource Finder to find legal aid programs in Massachusetts.

What kinds of problems do legal aid programs help with?

Legal aid programs help people with civil legal problems like:

  • Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI),
  • divorce and custody,
  • domestic violence,
  • elder scams,
  • eviction,
  • foreclosure,
  • getting Unemployment, SNAP food benefits, health or disability benefits,
  • immigration,
  • special education, and
  • tenant-landlord problems.
Can I get help from legal aid?

To get free legal help from a legal aid program, you must have a low income. Also, the legal problem you have must be one that your legal aid program can help with.

In general, your household income must be less than 200% of the federal poverty level. If you are 60 years old or older, are a victim of crime or survivor of domestic violence, or you are trying to get public benefits, your income can be higher. Sometimes, there are other special programs that can help people with certain problems, even if you have a higher income. 

How can I find a legal aid program?

Use the Legal Resource Finder to find contact information for free and low cost legal help in Massachusetts. You can find out if programs in your area are taking new clients.

You can also try to hire a lawyer. 

  • Some lawyers have lower rates for people with lower income. 
  • There are some kinds of cases where you only have to pay the lawyer if you win. 
  • Other times, the other side might have to pay your lawyer's fees if you win.
  • Sometimes, you can hire a lawyer for part of your case, and handle the other parts yourself.

These Lawyer Referral Services can give you contact information for a private lawyer.

 To learn more about getting legal help, see Find a Lawyer.