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The Law Department is responsible for providing legal representation and advice to the City and its officials in numerous areas of law including but not limited to: zoning, environmental, employment, civil rights, contracts, tax, real estate and torts involving personal injury and property damage claims. Members of the legal staff also regularly attend and provide advice at meetings of the City Council and sub-committees thereof and to City boards and commissions. In addition to drafting ordinances and other legal documents, numerous verbal and written opinions are rendered to the City Manager, Mayor, City Council, and Department Heads.

Tips and FAQs

How do I file a claim with the City?

You may file your claim with the City Clerk’s office by sending a written letter or email addressed to:

Diane P. LeBlanc, City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
795 Mass. Ave, 1st Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139

The claim must include:

1. Claimant’s name, address, and phone number;
2. Date, time, and exact location of incident; and
3. A description of the incident.

The claim may include:

1. Photographs;
2. Repair estimates or invoices.

Please note that street and sidewalk defect claims must be filed within 30 days of the incident and notice of other types of claims generally must be filed within 2 years of the incident.

If the injury and/or property damage are related to actions taken by a contractor working with the City, you should direct your claim to the contractor.  If you are not sure if there was a contractor involved, you may file a claim with the City, but you may then be directed to file with a contractor.

If you have questions about the status of your claim, you may contact the Law Department at 617-349- 4121, but you should allow at least 6 to 8 weeks before inquiring about your claim. Please understand that the Law Department requires sufficient time to complete its investigation and will respond to you in writing when the investigation is complete.

This is not intended to be legal advice, nor is it an admission of any liability on the part of the City. In furnishing this information, the City does not waive or relinquish any defenses or rights available to it, nor shall this information operate to waive any factual or legal defenses currently existing, or which may become available to the City in the future. Please contact an attorney if you have any legal questions.

How do I get legal assistance?

The Cambridge Law Department does not render legal service to the public. You can contact one of the following agencies:

Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
16 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 742-0625

Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
20 West Street
Boston, MA 02111-1218
Phone: 1-800-392-6164

Greater Boston Legal Service
60 Gore Street, Suite 203
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 603-2700

Community Legal Services and Counseling Center
One West Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617) 661-1010

Who is the Public Records Access Officer for the City?

Pursuant to the Public Records Law (G.L. c. 66, section 6A) the City Manager has designated Seah Levy as the Public Records Access for the City of Cambridge.  

Her contact information is: 

Seah Levy 
Public Records Access Officer

City of Cambridge 
Law Department 
City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue 
Cambridge, MA  02139 

(617) 349-4121 

How can I obtain a copy of an ordinance?

You can contact the Office of the City Clerk located on the first floor of City Hall for a copy of an ordinance and a copy of the municipal code or view the Municipal Code here.

Can I get an interpretation?

The Law Department does not provide interpretations and suggests consulting with a private attorney.

Whom should I contact for information on worker's compensation?

For Cambridge employees, contact the Claims Manager in the Personnel Department at (617)-349-4125.

Whom should I contact for information on discrimination

You can contact:

Whom should I contact for information on labor disputes?

You can contact:

Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement

Service Requests

Enter a service request via SeeClickFix for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc.