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Upcoming Events

Events

Community Legal Education Training Series
Please join us for our monthly community-based legal education training series aimed at providing general information to the community about various legal topics. All trainings will be held from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at Community Legal Aid's Worcester Office: 405 Main Street, 3rd Floor, Worcester, MA 01608. Coffee will be served at all trainings.

To sign up to attend a specific training, or for more information, please contact Linda Boss at lboss@cla-ma.org.


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Internships

Community Legal Aid regularly welcomes student interns to work with us. During the law school year, CLA advocates generally recruit students at East Coast public interest job fairs in Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York; first- and second-year students are encouraged to attend these job fairs if they want to learn more about summer internships at CLA. We are especially interested in providing internships to students who are work-study eligible or who come with partial or full funding of their own (through public interest law grants or other sources). Interested students should review the website of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation at www.massbarfoundation.org/grant_programs/legal_intern/ to learn about the Foundation’s summer internship stipend.

CLA also encourages students participating in a co-op program to consider working with us for a semester or a school year.

In the family law unit, interns assist advocates in handling complex family law cases involving domestic violence. Unit interns may perform the following activities: conduct client interviews and advise clients where appropriate; prepare financial documents; prepare pleadings; research and draft briefs; assist in negotiating settlements; attend community meetings, including domestic violence roundtables; attend court hearings with staff attorneys; and assist in trial and/or hearing preparation. Second- and third-year law students (if they obtain 3:03 certification) are also able to represent clients in court at motion hearings, pre-trial hearings and other proceedings under the supervision of an attorney.

In the elder law unit, interns assist advocates handling cases for people age 60 or older, involving health care issues; social security benefits; consumer credit issues; elder abuse, including financial and physical abuse by caretakers and/or family members; housing issues; and familylaw  issues. Interns may perform the following activities: conduct client interviews and advise clients where appropriate; prepare financial documents; prepare pleadings;research and draft briefs; assist in negotiating settlements; attend community meetings, including trainings CLA advocates conduct for elders and agencies who work with the elderly; and assist in trial and/or hearing preparation. Second- and third-year law students (if they obtain 3:03 certification) are also able to represent clients in court hearings under the supervision of an attorney.

In the immigration unit, interns assist advocates handling humanitarian immigration issues. The unit helps clients apply for legal immigration status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and through other forms of petition. VAWA provides a mechanism for battered relatives to pursue lawful status on their own initiative, without relying on the abusive parties. Other forms of immigration relief designed to protect vulnerable groups include the U visa, available to victims of some serious crimes who are helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crimes; the T visa, available to certain victims of human trafficking; Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, available to some unaccompanied children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned; and asylum, available to people fleeing persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Interns may perform the following activities: conduct client interviews and advise clients where appropriate; research and draft briefs; assist in hearing preparation; attend hearings with advocates; and assist in trial and/or hearing preparation.

In the benefits and employment unit, interns assist advocates handling social security, welfare benefits, health care benefits, unemployment, and employment discrimination cases. Interns may perform the following activities: conduct client interviews and advise clients where appropriate; prepare medical requests; research and draft briefs; assist in hearing preparation; attend hearings with advocates; and assist in trial and/or hearing preparation. In addition, since an advocate does not need to be an attorney (or certified under Rule 3:03) to represent a client at an administrative law judge hearing, the intern may be able to represent his/her own client(s) at administrative hearings, under the supervision of an attorney.

In the housing and homelessness unit, interns have several responsibilities, including interviewing new clients, assisting attorneys in drafting pleadings in eviction cases, doing legal research, and helping advocates with all stages of the unit’s housing discrimination and foreclosure defense work. In appropriate cases, with Rule 3:03 certification, a second- or third-year law student may  represent clients in court hearings under the supervision of an attorney.  In addition, a student intern may assist with CLA's homeless advocacy project by conducting intake sessions with clients in shelters.

Interns may assist with the Family Advocates of Central Massachusetts (FACM) project by  FACM is a medical-legal collaboration between CLA and partner medical providers throughout Worcester County. FACM’s mission is to improve family health through strong, coordinated, and collaborative advocacy by doctors and lawyers. Interns may perform the following activitiesconducting client interviews, advising clients where appropriate; researching and drafting briefs; assisting in hearing preparation; and attending hearings with advocates.

Community Lawyering: CLA also has a working group that  differs from individual case advocacy in that it focuses more on community problem-solving than on litigating cases for individual clients. Through an emphasis on community organizing and empowerment, community lawyering seeks to mobilize neighborhood groups, set a community agenda, and secure public and private resources in an effort to make the community a better place to live. Its goal is to generate outcomes that clients and community stakeholders value, such as increasing public safety, improving the quality of life, or facilitating economic development. Interns are welcome to participate in the community lawyering projects generated through this group.

Outreach work: Other work includes outreach to CLA's client communities. Interns can play an important role in implementing CLA's outreach efforts by  meeting with church leaders and other community representatives. Interns may also participate in intake at community centers, including the South East Asian Center. Interns may also coordinate the distribution and translation of brochures and community education literature to the community.

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