What Is ALA-MA?
Each year AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts places college and law school graduates in legal services organizations throughout Massachusetts. ALA-Massachusetts advocates serve full-time for a total of 1,700 hours over 46 weeks, beginning each year in mid-September through the end of July. Advocate benefits for the 2018-2019 year include:
- A $22,500 taxable living stipend
- Health insurance
- A $5,920 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 are placed to serve at different partner sites throughout Massachusetts, and as a result organizations hosting our AmeriCorps members are able to expand their capacity to provide critical legal services to clients. Our advocates receive training and supervision by legal professionals, and are exposed to a range of activities, including client communications, eligibility determinations, case development, legal research and writing, and hearings. ALA-Massachusetts advocates also have the opportunity to do community outreach and education.
While members are placed at different organizations across the state, they have opportunities throughout the year to attend trainings and events as a group. Beyond our service year, ALA-Massachusetts has a strong network of alumni who remain connected to the program.
Placements are in most civil law practice areas, including:
- Access to Government Benefits
- Criminal Records Sealing
- Income Maintenance
- Health and Mental Health Law
- Legal Problems of Elders
- Family Law