SCAS was founded in 1973 as a subcommittee of the Phillips Brooks House Legal Committee. The first SCAS volunteers worked out of the Roxbury Courthouse, helping clients prepare for their cases by informing them of their rights. Originally, SCAS was no more than six students. Since that time, SCAS has grown considerably. It now has over 85 active volunteers helping the citizens of Massachusetts navigate the small claims system directly by phone and by appointment, and indirectly by advocating structural (i.e. legislative) change.
The Small Claims Advisory Service is the only organization in Massachusetts that focuses primarily on helping individuals navigate the small claims court system in the Commonwealth. Our mission is to empower socioeconomically disadvantaged people in order for them to seek legal redress effectively through the small claims system, and to protect their rights as consumers, tenants, and members of our community. Often, these individuals are unaware of their options without our help. Through telephone communication and appointments, we provide citizens with information on Massachusetts law, small claims procedure, and effective court presentations.
The SCAS Board
Jessica Chao ‘15
I am concentrating in Economics with a secondary in Government. I became involved in SCAS starting my freshman year because it is a great way to serve the Massachusetts community and help with problems that exist outside of the Harvard campus.
Ben Zauzmer ‘15
Applied Math Concentrator
I am thrilled and honored to the co-Executive Director of SCAS. This organization means so much to me because I love the challenge of using knowledge to help those in need. I am proud that SCAS helps people in Massachusetts who might otherwise be taken advantage of by the legal system. But, I am also excited to try and make the organization even better this year so that we can serve even more people and ensure that the information we provide is always accurate.
Sharon Park ‘15
I am a current sophomore in Quincy House interested in both law and serving my community. I joined SCAS during my freshman year and I have found the experience aiding Massachusetts residents with the small claims process extremely rewarding. I am looking forward to another great term with SCAS!
Legal Research Director
Shengxi Li ‘15
Social Studies Concentrator
I have always wanted to help people, to make a difference. Ever since I was a kid, justice and accountability have been two concepts and ideals that have held a world of importance to me. And while that does include the bigger issues like genocide and corruption and war, I think it is all too often that the smaller issues are completely overlooked, and wrongly so. I really appreciate SCAS for giving me the opportunity to lend a helping hand in winning the small victories, the victories that in many ways, are actually much more important to the lives of the everyday, normal people than the bigger things are.
Legal Research Assistant Director
Sheila Ojeaburu ‘15
I got involved with SCAS because I’ve always been passionate about issues of justice. I believe that knowing one’s rights is empowering, and I am excited to be part of an organization that not only works to serve the Massachusetts community by providing legal information, but also works to enable individuals to better advocate for themselves.
Legal Research Assistant Director
Savanna Arral ‘16
Psychology and Women-Gender Studies Concentrator
I’m interested in becoming a lawyer because I see it as an opportunity to help people in the most basic way possible- by letting everyone tell their side of the story. SCAS is dedicated to assisting those who need that opportunity to tell their story, but might not have the means to do it, and I’m honored to be a part of that kind of initiative. In a time when we can’t invest much in the economy, I think it’s important that the Greater Boston area knows they can turn to us for help because we’re invested in them.
Yena Oh ‘16
Government and Statistics Concentrator
I think that the Small Claims Advisory Service is a great resource, and I volunteer for it because I understand that this service can be incredibly helpful in ensuring people understand a complicated system. As office director, I hope that the SCAS members are easily accessible and that the office is staffed as frequently as possible. If you have any suggestions, let me know! Ill be happy to help!
Off-Campus Outreach Director
Anita Lo ‘16
I became involved with SCAS in my freshman year and was fascinated by how important free legal information can be to communities. SCAS gives me the opportunity to not only put knowledge of Massachusetts law to good use, but also to see legal problems from different perspectives.
On-Campus Outreach Director
Samir Faza ‘15
Government and Economics Concentrator
I’ve been a part of SCAS since my freshman spring and am looking forward to helping the club grow by supporting the community of Boston and working as Social Chair. In my free time, I enjoy training for triathlons, watching movie classics with my friends, and rooting for the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturdays in the fall.
Julianna Aucoin ‘16
English or Economics Concentrator
SCAS was the first organization I got involved with in freshman fall, and I loved it! I enjoy being able to arm people with the knowledge of small claims law. I grew up near Boston, so I feel deeply invested in the Massachusetts community.
Willy Xiao ‘16
Statistics or Applied Math Concentrator
I’m super-excited to be the tech director of SCAS this year! When I first heard about SCAS last semester, I immediately wanted to join because I could serve the community while also pursuing my interest in law. This year, the SCAS team will be making a transition to a new database so that we can more efficiently and effectively assist those who call-in or email us. Hopefully, I can help make this transition as smooth and quick as possible.
Chaodan Zheng ’15
Social Studies Concentrator
As a training director, I wish to pass down small claims knowledge to our wonderful compers, who will each make an impact on the lives of the people in our community in a small way.
Catherine Choi ‘14
Psychology and Government Concentrator
This is my third year working with SCAS, and every year it has been a wonderfully worthwhile experience. I’ve learned a lot, not only about leadership and management through my involvement with SCAS, but also about the true meaning of providing service. I understand now that service is a win/win where both providers and recipients win; service is neither meaningless sacrifice nor unmerited charity that leads to no end. In the future, I hope to work at a public-interest law firm and work specifically on expanding the scholarship on minority rights.
New Limit and FeesATTN: The small claims limit has been raised to $7000 and filing fees are now: $40 for claims up to $500 $50 for claims up to $2000 $100 for claims up to $5000 $150 for claims up to $7000
DisclaimerWe are not lawyers, or even law students; rather, we are college undergraduates who have read up on small claims law in Massachusetts. The information we are able to provide you is simply that – information – and should not be considered “legal advice”, which you can only receive from a lawyer.