Frequently asked questions about Mass Legal Answers Online
Msss Legal Answers Online is part of the ABA's Free Legal Answers project. It is a website where low income Massachusetts residents can ask civil (non criminal) legal questions. Volunteer attorneys answer these questions through the same website.
How does it work?
- You must first create an account on the website. You will be asked questions about yourself, your income, and your legal problem. If you are eligible to create an account, you will sign a use agreement online and choose a password to use on this website.
- You will then get an email from firstname.lastname@example.org letting you know that an account is being created for you. Click on the link in the email to finish creating your account. If you don't see this email, check your spam folder.
- Log in with your email address and password.
- Type in your question. If you have a court date or other deadline coming up, we can't promise you will get an answer before that time.
- We will send you an e-mail when a lawyer answers your question.
- Log back into this website and read the lawyer's advice. If it isn't clear, you can ask more questions.
Does it cost anything to use this website?
No, it is a free service. However, you must be low income to qualify for an account.
Am I guaranteed an answer to my question?
Although we do our best to answer all the questions, we cannot guarantee that every question will be answered. If a volunteer attorney has not answered your question within 30 days, you will get an email notifying you that your question has been closed.
How many questions can I ask?
You can ask 3 questions in every 12 month period. The questions cannot be about criminal law problems. If you ask a civil legal question, and your question is closed because no attorney answered it, it will not count as one of your 3 questions.
Who can see my information and my question?
All the volunteer attorneys who have signed up to answer questions on this website, and the site administrators, can see the legal questions that you ask on the website, as well as your name, the name of the opposing party, and the county that you live in.
Only the volunteer attorney who is answering your question, and the site administrators, can see the attorney's answers to your legal questions.
Only the site administrators will see the other information you gave to create your account, such as your income.
The legal questions and answers, and the information that you gave when you created your account, are not publicly available and will not appear in search results in google or on the internet.
Can the volunteer attorney do anything else for me besides answer my question?
No. As stated in the use agreement, the only thing that the volunteer attorney can do is answer your legal question through the website. For example, the volunteer attorney cannot represent you in court, prepare papwerwork, give you ongoing advice or speak on your behalf to other people. Also, the attorney cannot email you directly, telephone you or set up an in person meeting; all advice will be given through the website. Once your question has been answered, the question will be closed.
My question says it is marked as closed. Why?
Questions can be marked as closed for mulitple reasons:
- The attorney who answered marked the question as closed when they finished answering it;
- The site administrator had to close the question and listed why it was closed;
- You never answered the attorney's response, so the question automatically closed.
I have asked all 3 questions, what do I do now?
As you agreed in the use agreement, each user may only ask three (3) total questions in every 12 month period. You can look at our page for other places to find help to see if there are other resources that might be able to help you.
I need site technical help - who do I ask?
You may email the site administrator with questions about using the site. The site administrator will not respond to requests for legal help.