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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

Legal Advocacy and Resource Center
197 Friend St., 9th Floor Boston, MA 02114
LARC Hotline: 617-603-1700 or 1-800-342-LAWS
Massachusetts Senior Legal Helpline (for Elders needing legal services): 1-866-778-0939
(Hotlines available M, T, TH, F 9am-1pm and W 9am-12pm)
Legal hotline for low-income Massachusetts residents. Does referrals, (including Greater Boston Legal Services and the Volunteer Lawyers Project) as well as “concrete legal information” about non-criminal matters.

De Novo
47 Thorndike Street, SB-LL-1, Cambridge, MA 02141 
TTY: 617-661-1216 Fax: 617-661-1011
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.

Roxbury Defenders
7 Palmer Street, Suite 302
Roxbury, MA 02119
617-445-7581 Fax: 617-445-7587
Provides free legal advice and information on criminal law issues.

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.

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.

Harvard Defenders

Gannett House, Suite 1 Harvard Law School
1511 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-4413 Fax: 617-496-6059
Legal services organization to provide representation for people of low income in criminal show-cause hearings and welfare fraud investigations.

Harvard Legal Aid Bureau

Baker House, 1587 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-4408, open: M-F 9 am-5 p.m
Provides free legal services to low-income people in Middlesex and Suffolk counties. Please inquire by phone.

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
Provides lawyer referrals in the greater Boston area.