On December 13, 2010, the Boston Bar Association (BBA) Lawyer Referral
Service will begin taking referrals directly from the U.S. Department of Labor
(DOL) as part of a new collaborative program with the DOL and the American Bar
Association (ABA). BBA attorneys will assist clients with Family and Medical
Leave Act (FMLA) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases that are not
litigated by the DOL.
"As lawyers, it's at the core of our beliefs that people with serious legal
needs should be able to readily find good representation," said ABA President
Stephen N. Zack. "The Department of Labor is setting up a creative,
compassionate method for helping… people in need. We're pleased that the ABA's
Legal Referral project is the administration's lead partner in this."
By increasing the number of Americans who have access to legal
representation, this new referral program is one of the initiatives promoted by
the Obama administration to "close the access to justice gap", as described by
Laurence Tribe, senior counselor for the Access to Justice Initiative at the
U.S. Department of Justice. Across the country, 38 state and local ABA-approved
lawyer referral services will be participating in this new referral program. The
BBA Lawyer Referral Service will be the only participating service in the Boston
The DOL will provide clients with a toll-free number, which will connect them
to the BBA Lawyer Referral Service if they are within the BBA's geographical
coverage area. The BBA Lawyer Referral Service has developed a panel of
experienced attorneys who will take most of the cases on a contingency basis.
As Vice President Joe Biden has noted, "This [collaboration] is a
common-sense approach to help average Americans."