South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc. (SCCLS) is a private, non-profit law firm which provides free legal help in priority civil matters to low income residents of Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket and Plymouth counties and the towns of Avon and Stoughton in Norfolk County. Together with its wholly owned subsidiary, the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, SCCLS operates fully staffed, community based law offices in Fall River, New Bedford, Hyannis, and Brockton. Our administrative office is located in Fall River.
Our mission is to achieve justice for low-income eligible clients through community based legal advocacy.
Our advocates not only provide quality legal assistance to eligible clients in high priority civil cases, but also offer educational programming to the community and participate in state wide access to justice efforts through service on task forces organized around substantive and service delivery issues. When our advocates see significant numbers of clients contacting us with a legal problem arising from wrongful private or governmental conduct affecting them in common, they go to the root cause of the problem and try to correct it for everyone.
Each year, the organization provides legal help to approximately 5000 low income individuals and families in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod & the Islands. SCCLS and its predecessor organizations (Legal Services for Cape, Plymouth & Islands, New Center for Legal Advocacy, and Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation) have been providing free quality legal assistance to the community for more than 50 years.
SCCLS supports its work with funds from the state and federal government, private foundations, and individual and corporate donors. Our largest funder is the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), which provides approximately 60% of funding for the organization. Other large funders include federal Legal Services Corporation, Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, the Massachusetts Service Alliance, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, MA Department of Public Health, four Area Agencies on Aging, United Way, CDBG funds from the cities of Attleboro, New Bedford and Taunton, and private foundations. With funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps), SCCLS and the Justice Center also operate a statewide AmeriCorps program which places 36 college or law graduates in legal aid programs throughout the Commonwealth to support the legal assistance provided to low income families and older residents.