Fairness for All: Increase Funding for Courts and Legal Aid

Funding FairnessFunding for Massachusetts courts and civil legal aid programs is not just a lawyer issue. It's a fairness issue.

Courts keep our communities safe and our businesses running, touching 42,000 visitors each day in the commonwealth. And legal aid provides a vital lifeline and access to justice to the most vulnerable among us: victims of domestic violence, children, the elderly and infirmed, the homeless and others who are often lost without free legal representation.

Help us urge state legislators to fully fund our courts and legal aid programs in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

FAQS

Why do we need court funding?
1. 42,000 people use Massachusetts courts each day.
2. The Trial Court is seeking maintenance funding of $615 million - that's just 1.6% of the governor's proposed $36.4 billion for the commonwealth.Court funding impacts public hours and staffing levels.
3. Courts not only resolve disputes, they keep our communities safe and our businesses running.

Why do we need funding for legal aid?
1. 974,277 individuals in Massachusetts are eligible for civil legal aid according to the Census Bureau.
2. The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) needs $17 million for civil legal aid in FY15.
3. MLAC grants to legal aid programs have been cut 51% since FY08.
4. More than 50% of people who seek legal aid are turned away due to a lack of resources.

12 for 12: Join Us

Under our "12 for 12" program, created by Massachusetts Bar Association President Douglas K. Sheff, we are asking 12,000 lawyers across the commonwealth to ask 12 of their clients to call or email their legislators and voice their support for increased funding for our courts and legal aid programs.

Whether you are a lawyer, a client or an interested member of the public, join us and speak up on behalf of fairness by calling for increased funding for the courts and our legal aid programs.

We'll provide the resources. Together, we'll speak with one voice.

Helpful links:

Sample language

  • Are you a lawyer interested in reaching out to your clients? Click here for sample language.
  • Are you a Massachusetts resident who wants to join in the call for court/legal aid funding? Click here for sample language.

Useful links

 

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