What Is ALA-MA?
The mission of ALA-Massachusetts is to open doors to justice for clients, invigorate our partner sites, and cultivate the next generation of public leaders. Each year the program places service members in legal services organizations throughout Massachusetts. ALA-Massachusetts advocates serve full-time for a total of 1,700 hours over 46 weeks, from mid-September through the end of July. Advocate benefits* for the 2022-2023 year will include:
- A $32,000 taxable living stipend
- Health insurance
- A $6,495 education award upon completion of service
- The ability to place eligible student loans in forbearance with interest paid upon completion of service
- Child care assistance, if eligible
- Hands-on, supervised exposure to the practice of poverty law
- A national service experience.
ALA-Massachusetts advocates serve at partner sites throughout Massachusetts which provide civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families. Each placement with ALA-Massachusetts is unique. Depending on the partner site's needs, an ALA-MA advocate may engage in some, but not all, of the following legal activities: initial screening for eligibility, client communications, case development, legal research, legal writing, hearings, and community outreach. Practice areas vary as well. Some members are generalists and learn multiple areas of law, and some specialize with a single focus. The range of practice areas are:
- Access to Government Benefits
- Mental Health and Health Law
- Legal Problems of Elders
- Sealing of Criminal Records, and
- Family Law.
Advocates are supervised by legal professionals and receive training on client-centered communications, cultural competency, and trauma-informed advocacy. Under federal law, AmeriCorps members cannot engage in political, union or religious activities during service hours. ALA-Massachusetts has a strong network of alumni who maintain connections long past the service year. For more information about member responsibilities, see our Detailed Position Description.
AmeriCorps service is not employment. ALA-Massachusetts is not able to offer financial relocation assistance for those who need to move to Massachusetts to participate. ALA-Massachusetts does not place applicants who are simultaneously pursuing a graduate or law degree, or who have other full time employment.