May 11, 2020

The Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet weekly and has been working on a number of projects relating to statewide pro bono, access to the courts, and promoting the development and distribution to non-lawyers of information about changes in the law and legal procedures. As part of these efforts, please share the below invitation with advocates who work at nonprofits, religious institutions, and other social service agencies who might be interested in this webinar.

Virtual Question and Answer Session for Community Advocates

Please join us at a virtual Question and Answer session on Friday, May 15 at 10:30 AM for community advocates and social services providers about legal questions that may come up when working with immigrant families in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our presenters will give a short overview of key legal issues that affect immigrant communities for you to keep in mind when helping your clients, including:

  • Update on current status of immigration appointments and hearings,
  • Eligibility for benefits such as MassHealth, unemployment and pandemic EBT, and the potential impact on public charge,
  • How the current “eviction moratorium,” which stops most evictions in Massachusetts, protects tenants regardless of immigration status,
  • Workers’ protections that apply regardless of immigration status and more. You will also have a chance to ask questions.  

The event is free, but please register at

Date:  Friday, May 15, 2020 from 10:30 to noon
Where:  Zoom — register to get the login information

Presenters include:

Pablo Carrasco, Justice at Work
Kathryn Condon Grace, MetroWest Legal Services
Katie Lambing, Rian Immigrant Center
Emily Leung, Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts
Katherine Perry Lorentz, Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts
Jill O’Bryan, AmeriCorps Member, Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.
Questions?  Contact:

Ben Golden Suffolk Law School,
Rochelle Hahn, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute,
Jennifer Howard, Rosie’s Place,

Representative Kennedy Introduces Civil Gideon

On May 8, 2020 Congressman Joe Kennedy III and 14 of his colleagues introduced a proposal to guarantee the right to counsel in civil proceedings. The resolution stipulates that any individual facing legal action involving basic human needs – health, safety, family, shelter, and sustenance – be guaranteed an attorney to represent them, regardless of ability to pay. The resolution would bring a massive expansion in legal aid. The entire resolution can be read here.