4 law firms and UMass Law win awards for legal aid advocacy

EJC recognizes exceptional participation at Walk to the Hill

The Equal Justice coalition has recognized four law firms and UMass Law School for their outstanding participation in the 2020 Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid.
The award winners are:

Morgan Lewis: Highest Participation Award
Liberty Mutual: Exceptional Support
Fitch Law Partners: Nancy King Award
Wilmer Hale: Team Advocacy Award
UMass Law: Highest Participation for a Law School Award

The Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid is an annual lobby day for increased funding for civil legal aid organizations through the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation line item. Last January, nearly 700 attorneys and law students convened at the Massachusetts State House to ask legislators to increase the state appropriation for civil legal aid. The commonwealth ultimately included an increase of $5 million, appropriating $29 million for civil legal aid in FY21.

This year’s lobby day will be held online January 27, 2021, at 11 a.m. Participants can register online. The speaking program includes Attorney General Maura Healey, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd, and Michael Curry, president of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. Lawyers, advocates, and law students will have the opportunity to speak with the legislators online to lobby for $35 million in civil legal aid in FY22.

“We are so grateful to members of the private bar for their longstanding support for civil legal aid,” said Lynne Parker, executive director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. “Their advocacy is needed more than ever this year, given the devastating effect COVID-19 has had on low-income people. Civil legal aid is essential to ensure that everyone has equal access to justice to secure their health, safety, and financial stability during the pandemic.”
About the Award Winners:

Morgan Lewis won the Highest Participation Award, with 40 lawyers from the firm attending the 2020 Walk to the Hill.

Liberty Mutual received the Exceptional Support Award in recognition of having the second largest group of lawyers attend, with a total of 26 participants.

Fitch Law Partners received the Nancy King for bringing the largest percentage of law firm employees to the Walk. The award is named for Nancy King, a longtime legal aid attorney in Boston who passed away in 2007.

WilmerHale earned the Team Advocacy Award, which is given to the law firm that visits the most legislative offices during the Walk to the Hill.

UMass Law received the Highest Participation for a Law School Award. 87 students at the Dartmouth-based school traveled to Boston for the 2020 Walk to the Hill.

About the EJC
The Equal Justice Coalition is a collaboration of the Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation working to increase state funding for civil legal aid.