Boston Bar Association Praises Gov's Level Funding of Legal Aid

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Following the release of House 1 by Governor Patrick earlier today, Boston Bar Association President Donald R. Frederico issued a statement thanking Governor Patrick for level funding the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation line item for legal aid to poor people:

"In an environment where very painful choices are being made, the Boston Bar Association is heartened to know that Governor Patrick and his administration understand the critical importance of level state funding for legal services to the poor. Massachusetts legal services organizations, which provide lawyers to low income families and individuals in cases where basic human needs are at stake, typically depend on funding from three principal sources: state budgetary allocations, private donations, and Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA). Because of the downturn in the economy and record low interest rates, IOLTA revenue has experienced a precipitous decline -- at the same time the need for legal services has been rising. Every dollar lost through IOLTA means less money to support legal services, fewer legal service attorneys to address the needs of the poor, and less access to justice for those who cannot afford to hire lawyers. We hope and trust that the women and men of the Massachusetts legislature will recognize this year, as they have in years past, that the state needs to continue its support for legal services in order to preserve poor people's rights to equal justice under the law."