AFFORDABLE LEGAL SERVICES

WEEKLY FREE LEGAL CLINICS
You will find us conducting intakes and advising clients as to their rights every Wednesday from 12 noon to 1 pm (sharp) in collaboration with the Guthrie Center’s free lunch program.
 
SLIDING SCALE REPRESENTATION
We aim to make your representation affordable and efficient. View the chart to see what you would pay for legal services*
 
*Sliding scale fees are income qualified and determined by income and number of people in a household/family. We will ask you to bring a copy of your W2 or recent tax return to your intake. Some services are offered on a fee for services basis and not an hourly rate.
 
How can we offer reduced fee rates? As a charitable nonprofit we pay fewer taxes than other law firms. In addition, most of our clients come to us via word of mouth or by referral from community and social service providers including doctors, courts, and other nonprofits effectively eliminating costly marketing expenses.
 
In addition, since our inception in 2006, we are a collaborative organization meaning we share and others share with us our collective resources, thereby insuring that we do not duplicate existing services or pay for resources that could be otherwise available to us at no cost or reduced cost.
 
INTAKE DONATION
There is no charge for the initial interview with an attorney.  We do ask for a $50.00 donation to the Berkshire Center for Justice, Inc., to cover the cost of maintaining our small office where the interview will take place.  It is voluntary, and in cases where the donation would create a financial hardship on a client, it may be reduced or waived. Where financial hardship is an issue, please note that when scheduling an appointment.
HIGH SCHOOL AND CLIENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Self Advocacy
Some people have the capacity to advocate for themselves in areas of law that do not require attorney representation. We advise clients how to do so.
“After only a few minutes in my initial visit with Eve I felt empowered and encouraged. Her knowledge and insights were enormously helpful to me with my financial crises…Eve picked up on an additional concern regarding an impoverished friend and brought forth helpful information to pass on. The Center is truly holistic legal counsel with a heart!” Barbara Reeves
 
High School “Know Your Rights”
Two attorneys will come to your school and engage your students in an informative and lively conversation with real world hypotheticals concerning constitutional, criminal, consumer protection, child support, and contract law. Call us to discuss the needs of your particular school.
 
LEGAL, SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY REFERRALS
BCJ has a network of 23 attorneys; 2 accountants; interpreters in Spanish, Portuguese, Burmese, sign language; and is knowledgeable about services in Berkshire County. We have helped clients receive grants, financial and psychological support, food, temporary housing for their pets, medical insurance, reduced fee and free utility services and more by listening closely to client needs and networking on their behalf within our community.
 
Why do we do we involve the community in a legal matter?
Because clients find it valuable. For example, if you come to us for an eviction for nonpayment of rent, and we address your landlord tenant issue without looking at why you can’t play your rent, you will come back the next month with the same problem. On the other hand if it is possible to reduce your monthly bills, you may have more money to apply towards your rent creating a more long term rather than short term solution to your problem.
WE LOVE ARTISTS AND THEY LOVE US!
The Berkshire landscape on our banner is for sale. The artist, Thor Wickstrom is known for his direct and honest landscapes and this 24″x 30″ oil on canvas sells for $850.00.He has generously offered to donate 10% of the sale price to support the good work of BCJ.
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SAVE THE DATE!

Free Legal Clinic Gratitude Party

We are hosting a party on Wednesday, August 14th, from 5:00PM-7:00PM.  Join us as we honor and celebrate the lawyers, volunteers, and donors who have given to the Free Legal Clinic in time, energy or financially.  The party will be held in Diana’s nationally recognized garden, with wine, good eats, and a dance band. Learn about FLC’s mission and hear from clients about the impact FLC has had on their lives. FLC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We do hope you can make it.  Party Location: 258 Great Barrington Road (Route 41) in Housatonic, MA. Donations appreciated.  For more information call 413-854-1955.

Diana Felber & Eve Schatz

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The FLC wholeheartedly  gives thanks and a shout out to Berkshire Bank, the Berkshire Foundation and their Recycle, Renew and Reuse Program for donating office equipment that helps us meet the needs of our clientele. Berkshire Bank is making a difference in our community!

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In Memorium

It is with gratitude in our hearts of the fond memories we have of his enthusiasm and many contributions to the Free Legal Clinic that we sadly say good by to George T. O’Brien who passed away March 29, 2013. He leaves his wife of almost 45 years, Janet O’Brien, former Board of Director of FLC, two beloved daughters, and a granddaughter, brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews. Our condolences go out to his family and all those whom he touched with his wit and humor and volunteerism including the Lee Land Trust where he served as Board of Director and Treasurer, The Mahaiwe Theater and Great Barrington Stage Theater .
George volunteered at every FLC event with a smile and two willing hands to make things operate smoothly. Most recently he helped us move into our Main Street Great Barrington office arranging and assembling furniture and files. We will miss you, George.
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New Program!

The Guthrie Center and the Free Legal Clinic are collaborating on a new program. Every Wednesday at 12 noon the Guthrie Center provides free community lunches, and now, lunch participants will have access to the Free Legal Clinic’s Director, and attorney, Eve Schatz, Esq. for legal intakes! EVERYONE IS WELCOME… (really!).  The Church is located on the corner of Division and VanDeusenville Road in Great Barrington. FLC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. For more information, call 413-854-1955.

FLC always needs large and small three ring binders, and stamps. We also depend on our community to support us as we keep up with demand for our essential legal and referral services.

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New office opens for Free Legal Clinic

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The Free Legal Clinic is proud to announce our first public office at 284 Main Street #7 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. We are fortunate to have Terrence Cooney a retired attorney to staff hours Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9am-12pm. Call 413-854-1955 to schedule an intake with Mr. Cooney or Founder, Eve Schatz.  This location brings us more visibility on Main Street so that those in need of our essential services can find us.

We are grateful for and want to thank artist Mark Buchman for making and installing our fabulous sign.

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Wine and Cheese Fundraiser for the benefit of FLC

Wine & Cheese Garden Cocktail Party Fundraiser to benefit the Free Legal Clinic

Tuesday, June 26th, 5:30pm
320 State Road, Gt. Barrington, MA For questions, contact the Free Legal Clinic of South Berkshire County, 284 Main St., Suite 7, Gt. Barrington, Ma (413)854-1955

 The Free Legal Clinic (FLC) is a non-profit organization that works to connect local professionals with Berkshire County residents who are experiencing very real barriers to accessing the civil legal counsel they need and deserve. The FLC promotes justice and supports public interest by building strong community relationships.

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