Entries by ejc

A civil justice crisis is coming – Much greater funding for legal aid is needed

This piece was published by Commonwealth Magazine on September 10, 2020 Susan Finegan and Lynne Parker THE COVID-19 CRISIS has come at Massachusetts in waves: a public health emergency, an economic collapse, a widening of racial disparities, and now, an overwhelming need for legal help. In response, the Commonwealth must fully support the essential work […]

COVID shows why we need legal aid for civil cases like evictions: Rep. Joe Kennedy

Right to counsel should be guaranteed in non-criminal cases involving basic human needs like food, shelter, employment, health care and physical safety. In the throes of the Great Recession a decade ago, I stood in a cramped courtroom at Boston Housing Court next to my client, a single mom of two from Dorchester, Massachusetts. For […]

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants Calls for Increased Civil Legal Aid at Walk to the Hill

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants joined hundreds of attorneys, law students and others last week in calling for increased state funding for civil legal aid to vulnerable low income Massachusetts residents in need at the annual Walk to the Hill at the Massachusetts State House. “The good news is that the legislature […]

Chief Justice Gants, hundreds of attorneys call for increased civil legal aid funding at Walk to the Hill

Advocates request $29 million to expand access to representation in FY21 Kenda Cluff, a client of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, speaks at Walk to the Hill. Photo Credit: Elbert John Tenants are fighting evictions in the midst of a housing crisis. Veterans are battling war-time injuries and legal issues. And a growing senior population […]

MLAC response to Governor’s Budget recommendation

BOSTON, January 22, 2020 – Today, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker released his FY2021 budget with a recommendation to fund civil legal aid at $24 million, the same amount of funding it received in FY20. “We are pleased Gov. Baker recognizes the vital role civil legal aid plays in promoting equal access to justice for low-income […]

Our View: When you need a lawyer

Nobody wants to think about lawyers amid their New Year’s revelry and resolutions, but odds are good you’ll need legal help at some point during 2020. If you get arrested and hauled into court, you have the right to a lawyer even if you cannot pay for one. Clarence Earl Gideon’s handwritten appeal to the […]

EJC presents Beacon of Justice Awards to 13 champions of legal aid

The Equal Justice Coalition honored nine legislators and four attorneys at the Massachusetts State House with Beacon of Justice Awards on Nov. 12. The honorees were selected for their significant support of state funding for civil legal aid through the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid organizations […]