MBA President Carol A.G. DiMento took the case for legal-aid funding to Beacon Hill on March 14 during the third annual Walk to the Hill event in support of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC).
The event is held each year to draw attention and support among members of the legislature for the MLAC, which funds civil legal aid for low-income residents of the commonwealth.
With funding from the state and the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, MLAC makes grants to 18 local and statewide legal-aid programs. This year, MLAC has requested level funding of its general support in the amount of $4.8 million and additional level funding of nearly $4.3 million for three specific programs that deal with battered women, Medicare home health care and disability benefits.
In her address in Nurses Hall of the State House, DiMento urged legislators to support MLAC's budget request, while noting that this "funding from the Commonwealth is $16 million below the level that is needed."
Her deep - okay - maniacal passion for downhill skiing is a convenient metaphor for Keye (pronounced Key) Hollister's voluminous record of volunteer work. Pro bono for this veteran Pittsfield attorney is a lot like a powdery slope: There are irrepressible forces at work - in one case, gravity, in the other, Hollister's giving soul - that simply makes things happen.