Who We Serve

GBLS represents low-income individuals and families in Boston and 31 additional cities and towns in the Greater Boston area, assisting individual clients to secure some of the most basic necessities of life as well as addressing systemic problems that adversely impact their lives. We also represent community groups in advancing the interests of their low-income constituents and provide community legal education. We give advice and represent people in court, before agencies, and before city councils and the state legislature.

In 2020 GBLS handled over 14,400 matters, providing critical legal assistance to more than 12,400 people living in poverty. Of the clients we served, 64% were women; 84% were people of color; and 21% were over the age of 60. Our caseload broke down as follows:  33% were unemployment benefits or employment (unemployment benefits cases alone constituted 27% of our 2020 caseload); 22% were housing; 12% were immigration; 6% were welfare/income maintenance; 6% were family; 5% were consumer cases; 5% were cases to seal clients’ criminal record histories (CORI); 4% were health and disability; 4% were Social Security or SSI; and 3% fell into other categories.

Legal Problems Handled

GBLS 2020 legal problems handled pie chart



GBLS Helps a Mother Regain Physical Custody of Her Son from Her Abusive Partner

"Mary" is a client who was severely physically and verbally abused by her partner “Ralph”. When Mary suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of their son “Sam”, Ralph convinced Mary to sign over custody of Sam. He then proceeded to throw Mary and her older son out of the house. Ralph…

Read Our Clients' Stories