Free Legal Services Being Offered to Those Impacted by COVID-19
The Berkshire Center for Justice (BCJ), was awarded $5,000 from Berkshire United Way's COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund; the center was selected for the grants by a panel from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Berkshire United Way, Northern Berkshire United Way, and Williamstown Community Chest, along with community volunteers.
In a press release sent to WSBS from the Berkshire Center of Justice, Eve Schatz, Esq. founder, executive director and an attorney announces that “With this grant, the non-profit is offering free legal services for those impacted by COVID 19 for the entire month of May. Free Spanish interpreter services are available by request. For an intake call 413-854-1955 or complete an intake on the website by going here. The pro-bono assistance will be offered on a first come, first served basis.
Since 2006, the charitable non-profit Berkshire Center for Justice takes approximately 250 cases a year and has served thousands of Berkshire residents to date. BCJ’s Free Legal Clinic Program is one program offered by the organization. Others include Know Your Rights, Justice for Elders, Self Advocacy Program, and Sliding Scale Fee services. This year, because of the pandemic, BCJ has already met with 111 clients, many with
COVID-19-related questions. The agency works with 24 attorneys, two accountants, and two mediators, who volunteer pro bono as well as reduced-fee professional services to Berkshire Center for Justice clients.
Serving the region's low-income residents, this agency is one of only 27 sliding scale fee non-profit direct legal services providers in the country and provides clients with legal, social and community support. BCJ focuses on civil law, aiding clients with matters of divorce, landlord/tenant, debt, bankruptcy, Wills, health care proxies and power of attorney documents.
By networking intimately throughout the community and listening closely to client needs, BCJ sees clients with health, educational, housing, domestic violence, sexual assault, brain injury, substance abuse, and trauma survivors. BCJ collaborates with local social, community and mental health professionals to best serve their clients without duplicating services. These collaborations allow those with expertise on various legal and social issues to work together, all in greater service to the community.