Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Greater Boston Legal Services

By Matty Rich

This summer, I have the opportunity to intern with the Housing Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. GBLS provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in Boston and the surrounding areas and towns. It assists both clients on an individual level as well as addressing systemic problems. GBLS has many other units besides housing, including but not limited to elder law, health and disabilities, family law, and employment law.

In my few weeks here, I have already gotten the chance to do a wide variety of work. So far I have been able to perform legal research on the requirements to file for supplementary process in order to collect on a previously won judgment, assist with client intake, and file papers in the Cambridge court. Currently, I am working on drafting a complaint to file on behalf of a client who was wrongly rejected for a government housing subsidy.

Beyond my opportunities to perform work myself, I also have the chance to learn from the attorneys I work with by seeing them in action. For example, I was able to accompany my supervisor to a meeting with a tenant association. At this meeting, they planned what legal strategy they would pursue to fight the proposed demolition of a government subsidized apartment building. Getting to see the real world implications and meet the people directly impacted by my work has made this an all the more meaningful opportunity for me this summer.

If not for EJF, I would not have had the opportunity to spend my summer at GBLS. GBLS cannot afford to pay its interns and without EJF, I could not have otherwise afforded to live in Boston. I am very appreciative of EJF for helping to make my summer possible.

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