AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts (ALA-Massachusetts) is an AmeriCorps program that is seeking 29 college and law school graduates to serve in 2016-2017.[1] This is full-time service position, requiring 1,700 hours over 46 weeks from September 12, 2016 to July 28, 2017. Selected candidates serve on behalf of low-income people in civil (non-criminal) matters, and receive professional supervision and rigorous training. Our AmeriCorps advocates are placed in partner sites throughout Massachusetts, and are exposed to a wide range of legal activities including initial client contact and eligibility determinations, case development, legal research and writing, and hearings. Members also have the opportunity to do education and outreach in the community. Under federal rules, members cannot engage in political, union or religious activities while serving in an AmeriCorps program.

Housing is a primary focus for all of our members, but placements are in most of the major civil law practice areas, including:

  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Access to Government Benefits
  • Education
  • Income Maintenance
  • Health Care Law
  • Legal Problems of Elders
  • Family Law.

ALA-Massachusetts is looking for candidates who have an interest in poverty law, a commitment to service, and strong communications skills. Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Vietnamese, and other foreign language speakers preferred. Candidates willing to work in any region in Massachusetts will have a higher probability of being selected for interviews.

In order to be eligible for ALA-Massachusetts, candidates must be:

  • 18 years of age or over
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and
  • Have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

Benefits for the 2016-2017 year include:

  • A $21,500 taxable living stipend
  • Health insurance
  • A $5,775 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.

To learn more, see the complete ALA-Massachusetts Member Position Description at ALA-Massachusetts is an equal opportunity project, available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or religion; it is committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities as members and will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and service placement upon request.

To apply to be an AmeriCorps Advocate with ALA-Massachusetts for the 2016-2017 year, please access the application and instructions at Applications will be accepted starting in February, 2016 until the positions are filled.

AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts is a program of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS), a private non-profit law firm providing legal assistance to eligible low-income clients. ALA-Massachusetts is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance, and housed at the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, a wholly owned subsidiary of SCCLS. Formerly known as the Massachusetts Legal Assistance for Self Sufficiency Program (MLASSP), this program has been in operation since 2005.

[1] Our name has changed! As of 2016, Massachusetts Legal Assistance for Self-Sufficiency Program is now AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts.