Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012
Image for Walk to the Hill
Photograph by Christine Peterson
2011 Walk to the Hill.

MBA President Campbell, SJC Justice Gants to speak at Jan. 26 Walk to the Hill

Hundreds of attorneys to gather at State House to ask for increased civil legal aid funding

Massachusetts Bar Association President Richard P. Campbell and Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Ralph D. Gants will join hundreds of private attorneys from more than 50 Boston-area law firms at the State House on Thursday, Jan. 26 for the Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. The goal of this annual lobby day, one of the best attended in the state, is to ask for increased state funding for programs that provide civil legal aid to low-income Massachusetts residents.

Gants will kick off the speaking program at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of Flags. Following the speaking program, attorneys will visit their legislators and ask them to increase funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation line item (MLAC, 0321-1600) by $5 million to $14.5 million in the FY13 budget. Increased funding is critical to restore service levels and prevent further cuts to legal aid programs, as they have been struggling to meet demand due to a 78 percent decrease in revenue since FY08 from the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, the other major funding source for civil legal aid.

Walk to the Hill is sponsored by the Equal Justice Coalition, Boston Bar Association and MBA, and it is co-sponsored by 30 county and specialty bar associations.

The speaking program will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon and  includes:

  • Justice Ralph D. Gants of the Supreme Judicial Court;
  • Massachusetts Bar Association President Richard P. Campbell;
  • Boston Bar Association President Lisa C. Goodheart; and
  • Remon Jourdan of Randolph -- former client, Greater Boston Legal Services.

Sandy Moskowitz, chair of the Equal Justice Coalition, will serve as the program's emcee, and Jacquelynne Bowman, executive director of Greater Boston Legal Services, will provide lobbying instructions to the participants.

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