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Boston Area Legal Resources: Public Use

Public Access

Members of the public may generally enter and use the law library Monday-Friday between 8:30am and 5:00pm



The NUSL law library provides reference service to the public and members of the Northeastern University community.

NUSL Law Librarians do not practice law and therefore are not permitted to:

  • conduct legal research for patrons
  • provide legal advice or opinions
  • read a legal authority over the phone, even if provided with a citation

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the Law Library at 617-373-3332.

If you are seeking legal advice or opinions, please see our Boston Area Legal Resources listed to your right.

Computer and Database Access

There are no computer terminals available to the public, but if you bring your own laptop, you can sign into the wireless system as a guest.

Please be aware that Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law are for current Northeastern law students, faculty and staff only, and are not available to the public.  


Thank you to Liza Rosenof (legal reference intern, 2013) for her work on the initial version of this guide (2013).

Boston Area Legal Resources

Greater Boston Legal Services
Main: 197 Friend St., Boston, MA 02114
617-371-1234 or 800-323-3205
TTY: 617-371-1228 Fax: 617-371-1222
GBLS is the primary provider of free, non-criminal legal assistance in the Greater Boston area.
Volunteer Lawyers Project
7 Winthrop Square, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02110
Get Legal Help: 617- 603-1700 or 1-800-342-LAWS (5297)
Main Office:  617.423.0648
The Volunteer Lawyers Project is dedicated to serving families and individuals in the Greater Boston Area, in issues such as civil appeals, consumer/bankruptcy, employment, family law/guardianship, housing, and probate. VLP provides free civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and does not charge clients for legal services.
De Novo
47 Thorndike Street, SB-LL-1, Cambridge, MA 02141 
TTY: 617-661-1216
Provides free civil legal assistance and psychological counseling to low income clients. Specializes in family law, domestic violence, housing, homelessness prevention, disability benefits, immigration, and refugee rights.

Committee for Public Counsel Services
Oversees the delivery of legal services  in criminal defense trial and post-conviction cases, services to criminal defendants, child welfare matters, and mental health litigation. Throughout Massachusetts.

Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School
122 Boylston Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
617-522-3003 Fax: 617-522-0715
General practice law office providing civil legal assistance for individuals and small businesses with legal problems in family law, immigration law, medical law, and housing law. Assistance is based on legal need.
Massachusetts Legal Help
Website provides FAQ of legal information and offers legal aid options based on location.
Massachusetts Legal Services Directory/Find Legal Aid
Directory of civil legal help in Massachusetts.
Provides free civil legal services to low income and elderly residents of Essex County and Northern Middlesex County.

Harvard Defenders

1607 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor, Suite 208, Cambridge, MA 02138
Call: 617-495-4413 Email:
Legal services organization to provide representation for people of low income in criminal show-cause hearings and CORI sealings.

Harvard Legal Aid Bureau

Baker House, 1587 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
For legal help call: 617-495-4408, M-F 9 am-5 pm
Provides free legal services to low-income people in the Greater Boston area. Specializes in housing law, family law, government benefits law,  fair wage law, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases.

Massachusetts Bar Association

20 West Street, Boston, MA 02111
Mass. Law Help Line: (866) 627-7577
Dial-a-Lawyer: (617) 338-0556
TTY: (617) 338-0585
MBA public service for legal referrals, assistance, and general information. Referrals are based on the legal need, geographic convenience and the caller's financial situation. The MBA also has "Dial-a-Lawyer." On the first Wednesday of each month, attorneys volunteer at the MBA Boston headquarters by providing free basic legal information by phone to callers between the hours of 5:30-7:30 p.m. Questions cover a wide range of legal topics.
Boston Bar Association
16 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108
Call 617-742-0625 or request a lawyer via email:
Provides lawyer referrals in the greater Boston area. There is no charge to receive a lawyer referral, although each individual lawyer will have their own system of fees/billing.