Small Claims Advisory Service

PBHA's Small Claims Advisory Service empowers socioeconomically disadvantaged people in order for them to seek legal redress effectively through the small claims system

Application Information:

To volunteer with SCAS, email scas@pbha.org. For small claims questions, call 617-497-5690.

Student Director Contact Information:

scas@pbha.org

617-497-5690

Staff Contact Information:

Matias Ramos

matias@pbha.org

617-496-8710

Fall 2020

Status: Active

SCAS is a legal aid program run entirely by Harvard College students and is the only organization in Massachusetts dedicated to helping underserved communities with cases too small for pro bono lawyers to handle. SCAS volunteers get rigorous training in Small Claims case law, strong pre-law preparation, and the opportunity to provide hands-on client service that changes the lives of people across Massachusetts. We plan to continue helping clients remotely through email and phone in the fall. Comp for new members (including those who began comp in spring 2020), committee work, All-SCAS, and other internal community events will also be moved to an online format.


PBHA’s Small Claims Advisory Service (SCAS) was founded in 1973 as a subcommittee of the Phillips Brooks House Legal Committee. The first SCAS volunteers worked out of the Roxbury Courthouse, helping clients prepare for their cases by informing them of their rights. Originally, SCAS was no more than six students. Since that time, SCAS has grown considerably. It now has over 30 active volunteers helping the citizens of Massachusetts navigate the small claims system directly by phone and by appointment, and indirectly by advocating structural (i.e. legislative) change.

The Small Claims Advisory Service empowers socioeconomically disadvantaged people in order for them to seek legal redress effectively through the small claims system, and to protect their rights as consumers, tenants, and members of our community. Often, these individuals are unaware of their options without help. Through telephone communication and appointments, SCAS provides citizens with information on Massachusetts law, small claims procedure, and effective court presentations.

To learn more about SCAS and its services, visit masmallclaims.org.

 

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