We’re two weeks away from the 15th Annual Walk to the
Hill for Civil Legal Aid on Thursday, January 30, 2014. The event starts at
11:00 am at the Great Hall of the State House in Boston. A brief speaking
program including Chief Justice Ireland, BBA President Paul Dacier, MBA
President Douglas Sheff, and a legal services client will conclude around
noon. At that point, we hope you’ll visit your own legislators. Here
are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you stop by their office courtesy of
the Equal Justice
- Introduce yourself as a
constituent and an attorney
- State that legal
services is important to you and thank your legislator for his or her past
- Tell your legislator that legal aid is in crisis and strongly urge
him or her to request $17 million in funding for MLAC in FY15, a $4 million
increase over this year’s budget
- Ask your legislator to make this funding request one
of his or her top three budget priorities
- Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA)
revenue has decreased by 85%, from $17 million in Fiscal Year 2008 to a
projected $2.6 million in FY14.
- Legal aid programs are forced to turn away at least
half of the eligible people who request help.
- Funding legal aid is a sound economic investment,
saving the state money by bringing clients federal benefits such as disability
payments and food stamps.
- It is critical for people to have lawyers; legal
representation is essential to the fair and efficient administration of
- People represented by legal aid are better prepared to protect their basic
needs for housing and income.