Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010
Image for Walk to the Hill 2010
Photograph by Jennifer Rosinski
10th Annual Walk to the Hill

Join the MBA at the 11th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid Wednesday

The 11th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid will kick off at 11 a.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 27 in the Great Hall of the Statehouse, where attorneys and legal advocates will highlight the importance of these programs. The need to maintain funding is just as great for fiscal year 2011 as it was last year.

"Our message to legislators will again be twofold: maintain funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) line item at $9.5 million and include this issue as a personal legislative priority," said Pattye Comfort,
director of the Equal Justice Coalition.

Massachusetts Bar Association President-Elect Denise Squillante will speak about the urgency for more funding. Squillante will be joined by Boston Bar Association President John J. Regan. A legal aid client will also share how the program has helped their family resolve a legal issue.

The past year's economic troubles have taken a toll on civil legal aid in Massachusetts, according to Comfort. Income from the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program has plummeted 63 percent since fiscal year 2008 and is not expected to increase in fiscal year 2010. Compounding this loss is the decrease in the civil legal aid line item ― from $11 million in fiscal year 2009 to $9.5 million in fiscal year 2010.

Walk to the Hill is one of the largest lobbying events at the Statehouse, and last year drew a crowd of more than 750 ― the highest turnout in the event's history.

Details of the event include:

  • Registration: 11-11:30 a.m.
  • Speaking Program: 11:30 a.m.-noon.
  • Legislative visits: Noon-1 p.m.
    Lunch will be served.

For more information, click here. To view a funding fact sheet, click here.

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