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Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration: Home

News and information from the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration

Int'l Refugee Assn. Project News

Student Pro Bono Society Opportunities

Interested in Housing Law? Want to help make a difference in someone's life while supporting progressive community/legal collaboration?

Lynn Housing Blockade

Come join Lynn United for Change, a grassroots organization that holds weekly community meetings to assist Lynn residents who are facing eviction or foreclosure. Lynn United needs volunteers to help community members complete Answer and Discovery forms and other court paperwork as they fight to remain in their homes. The meetings are every Thursday at 6:30 pm. Contact Isaac at if you are interested or have ANY questions. No experience necessary. Grab a buddy and enjoy the train ride to Lynn! The meetings are a block away from the Lynn commuter rail stop, and your work will make a huge difference in individual eviction cases and in building a stronger collective movement for change.

Interested in Immigration Law?
Community Legal Services and Counseling Center (CLSACC) needs bilingual students (Spanish, Portuguese) to conduct follow up phone calls to released detainees who are seeking asylum. Contact Alissa Weinberger at for more information.


Upcoming CPIAC Events

Upcoming Public Interest Events

Please join NUSL's Civil Rights and Restorative Justice (CRRJ) Project for its Spring 2019 Workshop Series. All workshops are held at 360 Dockser Hall, Northeastern University School of Law from 4:00-5:30pm.

Bringing together researchers, practitioners, students, and invited guests in the fields of civil rights and historical injustice, the workshop series is designed to discuss in an informal setting new projects. A short presentation will focus on methodological, design or theoretical problems the researcher/practitioner is facing and invite interdisciplinary thinking and discussion.

March 27: Breaking the Silence: Art as a tool for addressing legacies of injustice

Virginie Ladisch, Director, International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) Program on Children and Youth.
Virginie Ladisch will explore the intersection between art and youth
activism in addressing legacies of injustice drawing on her work in Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Gambia. When there is a lack of political will to genuinely address past violations, working with youth through a process of co-creation can yield innovative approaches to overcome political obstacles and open up public dialogue around past violations and the need for public reckoning. Ms. Ladisch is exploring ways to apply these approaches to deal with legacies of racial injustice in the United States.

May 1: State Legislative Initiatives Addressing Civil Rights-Era Crimes

Jim Emison, Founder, Tennesseans for Historical Justice.
In 2017, Tennessee by statute created a joint legislative committee to study the investigation of cold civil rights crimes and recommend legislation. The result was a statute mandating a statewide survey of civil rights crimes and a program of racial reconciliation. Attorney Emison has been active at all stages of the legislative process and now in implementing the law. He is interested in using the Tennessee statute as a model for national action.

June 26: Interpretive Limitations of Genetic Ancestry Testing and the Case for Reparations

Jada Benn Torres, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Genetic Anthropology and Biocultural Studies Laboratory, Vanderbilt University.
Professor Benn Torres explores the intersection between genetic ancestry
testing and calls for reparatory justice. She argues that the application of genomic data complicates notions about biological continuity and belonging but is nevertheless compatible with conceptions of how people imagine themselves and histories in relation to geographic origins.

July 24: Where Restorative Justice and Human Rights Meet

Jennifer Llewellyn, Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law and Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.
Professor Llewellyn will discuss her
current work as commissioner of the Restorative Inquiry for the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. She previously advised the Assembly of First Nations and Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the response to Residential School abuse.

Talk followed by Refreshments and Informal Time with Presenters.
you plan to attend please RSVP at with your name and the session.

Court Watching With CPIAC

CPIAC Housing Court Watch Project 

Join other NUSL students in monitoring access to justice issues in housing court in Boston. This project formed in response to concerns from local legal service providers about fair treatment for people with disabilities, non-English speakers, and families with small children in housing court. Student volunteers will observe eviction sessions at Boston's housing court (Thursday & Wednesday mornings), and enter their observations into an online data form. We also need student volunteers to help analyze and summarize the data we collect. Please check out the information about court watching in general, and about access to justice issues in Massachusetts in our court watch tab. If you would like to volunteer please email


Next CPIAC Coffee Hour - Thursday April 25 at 4 pm in the Sun Room


We host regular gatherings for coffee and conversation at 4:00 pm on Thursdays. Thursday April 25 at 4:00 pm Annery Miranda from Greater Boston Legal Services will join us to discuss the boundaries of what lawyers can do for their clients, and when & where other services come into play. 

We'll have coffee, tea, and treats in the sun room (1st floor library). No registration necessary but if you think you can make it please RSVP to so we can make sure there are enough snacks.

Any suggestions for future topics or guests? Please let us know! Past coffee hours have included consumer debt protection with Veterans Legal Services, the ethics of volunteering as law students with Pine Tree Legal Assistance, and housing & environmental justice with City Life/Vida Urbana, GreenRoots Chelsea, and ACE.

Local Volunteer Opportunities

Housing Court Default Data Collection Project        
This March, a statewide coalition including the Access to Justice Commission Housing Working Group (“A2J”), Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (“MLRI”), and AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts, will complete a state-wide default data collection project. This project will collect data about why tenants are receiving default judgments in their eviction cases by not appearing in housing court. In Massachusetts, after a default judgment is entered against a tenant, 10 days later a landlord can ask the court to issue an execution, or an order that the tenant can be legally removed from their apartment. They are seeking volunteers from across Massachusetts who are interested in court observation and outreach to tenants to conduct qualitative surveys and provide resources. No experience necessary. Please contact if you are interested!

Connect with CPIAC

Sign up for our email list here. Or email us at with comments or suggestions, especially for future speakers and themes. We'd love to hear from you!