Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012
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MBA leverages billboards, YouTube videos to raise awareness on court funding

President Campbell says it’s a “first”

As Massachusetts nears its state budget process for FY 2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association is launching a high profile awareness campaign on the effects of underfunded courts. The statewide effort is geared toward the commonwealth's general public.

"Understandably, the average citizen may not appreciate the irreplaceable role courts play in their security, livelihood and freedoms," MBA President Richard P. Campbell said. "This significant communication will attempt to change that."  

Through a billboard campaign to begin on Monday, Jan. 16, the association aims to grab the average citizen's attention to reinforce that court funding does impact him or her. The MBA's message will be showcased on billboards in Greater Boston, along I-93 in Dorchester and Medford; in Worcester along I-290; and in Fall River along Rt. 24.

The billboard message will direct passersby to the MBA Web site -- www.massbar.org. Included on the MBA's site will be informational materials on court funding as well as resources citizens and members of the legal community can reference when reaching out to their respective legislators on this important issue.

As part of the informational on-line package, public service announcement-style videos can be viewed. The videos highlight the negative impact of inadequate court funding through the perspective of judicial leadership, attorneys, academic leaders and court staff.

"We've never done this before," Campbell said. "The fact that the MBA has committed to elevating awareness in this fashion is a clear indication of how dire the circumstances have gotten in the court room atmosphere and operations."

Campbell said he realizes that the campaign won't reach every citizen of the commonwealth, but he is eager to take the MBA's communication and advocacy efforts to the next level to better convey why Massachusetts should properly fund its third branch of government.

In addition to the billboards and YouTube videos, the MBA will work to share word of this new campaign through comprehensive outreach to membership and the larger legal community, as well as other key community and opinion leaders.

Gov. Deval L. Patrick is expected to release his version of the FYI 13 budget later this month, while both the House and Senate will begin their budget debates in April and May respectively.

For more information, click here.

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