Senior Partners for Justice, a unique pro bono initiative of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, offers an internship program for law students who want to provide critical assistance to low-income clients while gaining valuable insight into the daily operations of the Probate and Family Court.
ABOUT SENIOR PARTNERS FOR JUSTICE
Founded in 2002 by Hon. Edward M. Ginsburg, a retired justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, Senior Partners for Justice includes practitioners of all levels of experience, from retired attorneys and judges to new members admitted to the bar and law students, who handle family law matters pro bono for low-income clients who would otherwise go unrepresented.
ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
The program is a 10 week commitment. Interns are placed in the Suffolk, Middlesex, and Norfolk Probate and Family Court Register’s Office, working directly alongside courthouse staff. This is an unpaid, non-credit internship, but it offers invaluable experience and a flexible schedule that can fit around other commitments.
We ask interns to spend at least one full day or two half days, preferably mornings, at their courthouse each week. Students provide information and the appropriate forms to pro se litigants navigating through the Probate and Family Court. In addition interested students may have the opportunity to participate with the Court Service Center and at VLP’s Guardianship and Family Law Clinics.
The nature of the internship is a little different at each court:
- At Suffolk (located near North Station and Haymarket Station), interns staff the very busy Register’s office and have the chance to help the Lawyer for the Day, and observe court proceedings, and help pro se litigants in the Registry and at the Court Service Center.
- At Middlesex (located in East Cambridge, at the Lechmere stop of the Green Line), interns rotate between different departments, gaining broad exposure to areas including Divorce, Paternity, and Probate.
- At Norfolk (located in Canton, accessible only by car), interns work directly with the court staff members who assist pro se litigants, and have a chance for more one-on-one interaction at a less busy court.
Orientation for the Fall Internship will take place in late September (dates TBA). The Internship program will begin the week after orientation and will run for approximately 10 weeks.
All participants in the internship program will be supervised by the registry staff and receive support from the staff at the Volunteer Lawyers Project, you will receive invitations to trainings, luncheons, and other events provided by the Volunteer Lawyers Project. We encourage incoming interns to review the family law training materials on-line either before or during the internship. These training materials provide a foundation for the work the interns will encounter in the registry. Training materials are available on our website at www.vlpnet.org.
Application are now being accepted for the Fall 2018 Semester. Apply online at https://vlpprobono.wufoo.com/forms/vlp-student-volunteer-application/. If you have questions, please contact Damaris Frias Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.