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Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness Inc

 16 Beacon Street
 Boston, MA 02108
[P] (617) 778-1980
[F] --
[email protected]
Maribeth Perry
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3501039

LAST UPDATED: 11/05/2017
Organization DBA Lawyers Clearinghouse
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

To connect pro bono lawyers with nonprofits and people in need to promote access to justice, strengthen communities, and end homelessness.

Mission Statement

To connect pro bono lawyers with nonprofits and people in need to promote access to justice, strengthen communities, and end homelessness.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2016 to Aug 30, 2017
Projected Income $386,000.00
Projected Expense $379,932.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Access to Justice Fellows Program
  • Educational Program for Nonprofits
  • Legal Referral Program
  • Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

To connect pro bono lawyers with nonprofits and people in need to promote access to justice, strengthen communities, and end homelessness.

Background Statement

The Lawyers Clearinghouse was founded in 1988 by the Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations and has been bringing parties together since then. Its formation united lawyers from top Boston law firms to work for a common cause and marked the first time the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) and the Boston Bar Association (BBA) co-sponsored a project.

The Clearinghouse mission was bold: Tap into the reservoir of talented Massachusetts lawyers to help address homelessness and the lack of affordable housing through pro bono work. It was to act as a matchmaker, bridging attorneys with expertise in real estate, corporate law and tax law with nonprofit clients that dealt with matters of housing and homelessness.

Twenty nine years later, the Clearinghouse has adapted its mission and expanded the scope of its services while retaining key characteristics that have made it a successful model for similar organizations throughout the United States.

The Clearinghouse is now the primary provider of legal services to Massachusetts nonprofits. It provides a unique pro bono opportunity to non-litigators and in-house counsel, matches nonprofits with pro bono lawyers, puts on about two dozen nonprofit legal workshops each year, and sponsors a legal clinic for the homeless at eight area shelters. Through these activities, the Clearinghouse leverages more than $6 million in donated legal services annually.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments in 2017

1. Provided pro bono legal referrals to 98 nonprofit organizations, pro bono brief legal assistance to 59 nonprofit organizations, and legal intakes to 206 homeless men and women.

2. Presented 34 legal workshops for nonprofits with 662 attendees. Also presented 4 trainings for pro bono lawyers with 147 lawyer attendees.

3. Engaged 19 Access to Justice Fellows (retired lawyers and judges) in one year fellowships with 14 legal services offices and nonprofit organizations.

4. The Legal Clinic for the Homeless Program was improved on several fronts. With new funding secured, a program director was hired, a mentor and case supervisor was retained for housing cases, and the program expanded to serve additional clients at the Southampton Shelter.

5. The Legal Consultation Program for Nonprofits was expanded from a pilot program into a successful and permanent program engaging firms and in-house counsel who provide both education and legal consultation to nonprofits.

Goals for 2018

1. Improve and add capacity to our Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless program by expanding the director position to full-time, retaining the services of another mentor and case supervisor for immigration cases, recruiting additional law firms to staff clinics, and expanding to new shelter locations, especially those serving women.

2. Complete a new 3-5 year strategic plan.

3. Focus on and improve board development, diversity, and evaluation.

Needs Statement

 The Lawyers Clearinghouse seeks to:

1. Secure funding to maintain the full-time the director position for the Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless ($50,000) to allow us to improve and expand the program as follows:

· recruit more attorneys to participate

· enhance pro bono attorney training

· create supportive networks and materials for pro bono attorneys

· provide advice and consultation on pro bono cases

· provide expert mentoring and supervision on pro bono cases

· take on cases when inappropriate for pro bono representation

· collect and monitor data on cases and outcomes

2. Secure funding to support the continuation of Access to Justice Fellows (ATJF) Program which matches senior and retiring lawyers with legal services and other nonprofit organizations ($25,000).


CEO Statement

The Lawyers Clearinghouse has been the primary provider of pro bono legal services to the nonprofit community in the Commonwealth since 1988. We are extremely efficient in our operations and last year coordinated the delivery of more than $6,000,000 in pro bono legal services on a budget of only $386,000. With a staff of 4 FTE, we provided pro bono legal services to 171 nonprofit organizations, 206 homeless men and women, and offered 34 legal workshops for nonprofits and 4 for volunteer attorneys.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Massachusetts-All Regions
City of Boston- Citywide (please select all areas as well)
City of Boston- Allston/ Brighton
City of Boston- Back Bay
City of Boston- Beacon Hill/ West End
City of Boston- Charlestown
City of Boston- Chinatown/ Leather District
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Downtown
City of Boston- East Boston
City of Boston- Fenway/ Kenmore
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Mission Hill
City of Boston- North End
City of Boston- Roslindale
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- South Boston
City of Boston- South End/Bay Village
City of Boston- Harbor Islands
City of Boston- West Roxbury

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Organization Categories

  1. Crime & Legal - Related - Legal Services
  2. Housing, Shelter - Homeless Shelters
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Management & Technical Assistance

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Access to Justice Fellows Program

The Access to Justice Fellows Program facilitated the donation of at least 10,000 hours of pro bono service during the year. The fourth class of Fellows consisted of 19 retired judges and attorneys who provided services at 17 partner organizations including Greater Boston Legal Services; Irish International Immigrant Center; Jobs Not Jails Coalition; Justice Bridge Legal Center; Lawyers Clearinghouse; Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission; Massachusetts Children’s Alliance; Massachusetts Family and Probate Court Department; Massachusetts Law Reform Institute; Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts; National Consumer Law Center; Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project; Project Citizenship; The Boston Harbor Association; Veterans Legal Services; and Volunteer Lawyers Project/Senior Partners for Justice.

The Fellows Program continues to have a rich, lively, and growing alumni community with 53 former Fellows, the large majority of whom continue with their fellowship projects and/or become engaged in other pro bono work. The program continues to support these Fellows by offering resources including malpractice insurance, business cards, and free Social Law Library membership; managing an online forum through Google Groups; holding periodic alumni events; and publishing a newsletter. 

Budget  $82,500.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success  More legal services will be available to the underserved.
Program Long-Term Success  Senior attorneys will provide nonprofits, legal services organizations, and the courts with critical legal assistance to underserved populations.
Program Success Monitored By  End of fellowship year reports and surveys.
Examples of Program Success 

Fellow volunteered at the Community Legal Services and Counseling Center/Immigration Department and handled asylum cases, especially involving particularly vulnerable clients whose need for asylum arises at least in part due to their association with LGBT issues in their home countries

Educational Program for Nonprofits

The Clearinghouse provides an array of educational programs for nonprofit organizations, often in collaboration with other groups and entities, including Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Goodwin Procter on the Nonprofit Incorporation Project; DLA Piper and Pfizer on a series of legal seminars for nonprofits; DC Bar and Lawyers Alliance for New York on a series of legal seminars for nonprofits; Jericho Road Projects in Lawrence and Lowell; and Boston Private on their Social Investing educational series for nonprofits. Most recently, workshops were offered on the following topics:

·        corporate governance for nonprofit executives and board members

·        nonprofit incorporation and filing for federal tax-exempt status

·        tax credits for affordable housing developers

·        Massachusetts data security law and WISP development for nonprofits

·        new Massachusetts lobbying and ethics rules for nonprofits

·        fundraising and related regulatory issues for nonprofits

·        personnel handbook issues in challenging financial times for nonprofits

·        new reporting requirements for 403(b) plans for nonprofits

·        ADA overview for nonprofits

In FY2016, twenty-nine (29) legal workshops were presented for nonprofits. Five hundred and ninety-two (592) representatives of nonprofits statewide participated. Four (4) trainings for pro bono lawyers were presented. Ninety-six (96) lawyers participated. Thirty-six (36) lawyers and 12 non-lawyers led the trainings.  

Budget  $33,500.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
To offer educational programs on topics of interest to the nonprofit community.
Program Long-Term Success 
To educate as many nonprofit employees as possible.
Program Success Monitored By  Attendees fill out surveys at the conclusion of each program.
Examples of Program Success 

“Thank you again for the seminar yesterday! I've been reading through the materials you provided us and they’ve been extremely helpful (it’s great to have all the materials you need in one place). If I had this book in the beginning, my life would have been a lot easier!”

Legal Referral Program

The Legal Referral Program provides pro bono legal assistance to nonprofit organization. In 2017, we received one hundred fourteen (114) requests for assistance from nonprofit organizations. The Clearinghouse successfully matched ninety-eight (98) of these eligible organizations with attorneys providing pro bono legal assistance. Two (2) clients were ineligible for our services. An additional thirty-seven (37) clients received on-site representation on matters with finite scopes, such as lease reviews and bylaws updates, through five (5) clinic-style consultation programs staffed by corporate counsel and firm attorneys. Staff provided in-house brief counsel to fifty-nine (59) clients. Three hundred thirteen (313) volunteer attorneys were recruited for this program with an additional seventy-five (75) law students and two (2) non-lawyer volunteers.  

This program also offers a preventive “legal checkup” where lawyers review and evaluate the corporate governance of nonprofit organizations to ensure that the organization meets legal requirements and follows best practices in business conduct. Corporate governance issues may include: legal formation and governance (articles of organization, bylaws, minutes, board training), internal controls and procedures (record retention, code of ethics, conflicts of interest, whistle blower policy), insurance (directors & officers insurance general liability insurance, and other appropriate insurance), IRS and state filing compliance, data security and intellectual property (collection and storing of client and staff personal information), and employment policies (employee manual or handbook).  

Budget  $126,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Information & Referral
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 
Nonprofits will be able to address pressing legal issues at no cost.
Program Long-Term Success 
100 nonprofits will get pro bono legal assistance and 50 will get brief legal advice and referral.
Program Success Monitored By  Case closure forms are submitted and firms report on value of donated services.
Examples of Program Success 

A Boston CDC sought assistance to answer a complaint against them involving an affordable housing development. The 27 unit development tied to transit would be the first affordable housing for families to be developed in Hyde Park in over 20 years. An abutter filed a complaint on the final day of the zoning appeal period to challenge a ZBA decision on the variance to allow this development.


Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless

The Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless provided legal assistance to 154 homeless and very low income men and women. The Clearinghouse recruited and trained attorneys and paralegals who provided direct legal services at 19 clinics which were held throughout the period. The target was 18. One hundred and sixty-seven (167) pro bono attorneys and paralegals participated in this program. The target was 150. Participating firms and legal departments were: Brown Rudnick; Choate, Hall & Stewart; Goulston & Storrs; Hinshaw & Culbertson; Liberty Mutual; Locke Lord; Mintz Levin; Nixon Peabody; Nolan Sheehan Patten; Ropes & Gray; State Street; and WilmerHale. In addition, in-house counsel from the following corporations participated: Boston Scientific; FM Global; and Winn Development.


Individual clients served through the Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless were all low income and/or guests of the Pine Street Inn, St. Francis House, Bridge, MBHP, and Medeiros Center, or otherwise using shelter services.

Budget  $95,000.00
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Legal Services
Population Served Homeless Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
In FY16, 200 homeless men and women will meet with pro bono attorneys and be provided with pro bono legal assistance as needed.
Program Long-Term Success 
Homeless men and women will have access to justice  and the chance to remove legal barriers that prevent them from escaping homelessness through free legal services.

Program Success Monitored By  Case closure forms are submitted by lawyers and firms report on the value of donated services.
Examples of Program Success 

A client sought help to prepare for his upcoming asylum interview. He had already been to two immigration legal services organizations but neither organization took his case. At the legal clinic, the attorneys he met with determined that given the complex nature of his particular case, it was unlikely he would be granted asylum without assistance from counsel. The attorneys worked for two years compiling affidavits and research to supplement his asylum application. At his interview, the client was granted asylum. The attorneys are now working with him on filing derivative asylum applications for his wife and children.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Maribeth Perry Esq.
CEO Term Start May 1996
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Maribeth joined the Clearinghouse as its Executive Director in 1996. She is responsible for the overall administration of the organization. Maribeth is the former Co-Executive Director of the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, Inc., and Executive Director of the Housing Information Center, Inc., multi service housing agencies providing services to landlords, tenants, homeless seeking shelter, elder homeowners, and first time homebuyers.

Maribeth graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in New York and the University of Utah. She is the author of The Successful Landlord, a guide to the rights and responsibilities of owning and managing rental property in Massachusetts.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Machiko Sano Hewitt Esq. Legal Referral Director

Machiko joined the Clearinghouse as the Legal Referral Director in 2004. She is responsible for the Community Legal Referral Program, which matches pro bono attorneys with nonprofit housing, homelessness and economic development agencies in need of legal services. Machiko also administers the Boston Bar Association Business Law Pro Bono Project.

Prior to joining the Clearinghouse, Machiko worked at the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts as a staff attorney and coordinator of its legal referral program. Machiko is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Hokkaido University School of Law in Sapporo, Japan.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Board Excellence Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2012
Hero Award hopeFound 2009


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association MNN

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


The Clearinghouse works collaboratively on various projects with the following partners:

  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Goodwin on bi-monthly seminars for nonprofits seeking incorporation and federal tax-exempt status. 
  • Boston Private, Jericho Road Lawrence, MACDC Mel King Institute, Pfizer, DLA Piper, DC Bar and NY Lawyers Alliance to provide numerous legal seminars for nonprofits.
  • VLP, GBLS, ten law firms and several in-house counsel to provide legal services to homeless clients.
  • Pro Bono Institute, Association of Corporate Counsel, and Mintz Levin on the Clinic in a Box program to engage in-house counsel in pro bono activities.
  • The Lenny Zakim Fund to educate and offer our legal resources to their grantees, who tend to be small, urban, and youth or education-focused.
  • Law schools, for legal referral of conflict cases.
  • Small Business Administration, SCORE Boston, CHAPA, MACDC, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Secretary of State’s Office, MA Attorney General’s Office, City of Boston Office of Business Development, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Essex Community Foundation, Brookline Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Nantucket, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and the American Islamic Congress as outreach and referral sources.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Teresa Santalucia Esq.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Klein Hornig LLP
Board Chair Term Sept 2017 - Sept 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Benton Bodamer Esq. Goodwin Voting
Ms. Leslie Cook Esq. Chicago Title Insurance Company Voting
Mr. Douglas Henry Esq. Sherin and Lodgen Voting
Ms. Emily Hodge Esq. Choate Hall & Stewart --
Mr. Kurt James Esq. Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster Voting
Mr. Christopher Lindstrom Esq. Nutter McClennan & Fish LLP Voting
Ms. Elizabeth Lintz Esq. Gouston & Storrs Voting
Ms. Kathleen McGrath Esq. Liberty Mutual Voting
Ms. Josephine McNeil Esq. CAN-DO Voting
Mr. George Mykulak Esq. WilmerHale Voting
Ms. Rosalyn Nasdor Esq. Ropes & Gray Voting
Mr. Stephen Nolan Esq. Nolan Sheehan Patten Voting
Ms. Kathleen Phelps Esq. Bingham McCutchen Voting
Ms. Deirdre Robinson Esq. Murtha Cullina Voting
Ms. Cindy Rowe Esq. Rowe Resources Voting
Mr. Jeffrey Sacks Esq. Nixon Peabody Voting
Ms. Teresa Santalucia Esq. Klein Horning Voting
Ms. Kathleen Sheehan Esq. Beacon Communities Voting
Mr. Andrew Stern Esq. Foley & Lardner Voting
Mr. Paul Tremblay Esq. Boston College Law School Voting
Mr. Benjamin Tymann Esq. Greenberg Traurig Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 20
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 11
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 91%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 0%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Marketing
  • Nominating
  • Program / Program Planning
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Lawyers Clearinghouse completed a Legal Assessment of its operations and best practices are followed in all facets of governance.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2016 to Aug 30, 2017
Projected Income $386,000.00
Projected Expense $379,932.00
Form 990s

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2015 Review

2014 Review

2013 Review

2012 Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $319,662 $252,686 $306,171
Total Expenses $311,269 $262,464 $245,172

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$75,500 $125,000 $164,000
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $231,408 $119,756 $134,689
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $12,445 $7,930 $7,482
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $309 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $258,230 $218,577 $203,724
Administration Expense $53,039 $43,887 $41,448
Fundraising Expense -- $0 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 0.96 1.25
Program Expense/Total Expenses 83% 83% 83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $231,333 $209,693 $227,350
Current Assets $231,333 $209,693 $227,350
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $49,872 $36,625 $44,504
Total Net Assets $181,461 $173,068 $182,846

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 9.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.64 5.73 5.11

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. The breakout of funding from Foundation and Corporations was obtained from the 990 Schedule Bs for fiscal years 2015, 2014 and 2013.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?