Photo Credit: Jeff Thiebauth
MBA President Damian J. Turco speaks at the 2024 Walk to the Hill.
Today, hundreds of attorneys participated in the 25th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid as the event returned to the State House for the first time since 2020. The Massachusetts Bar Association, the Equal Justice Coalition (EJC) and the Boston Bar Association asked participants to urge their legislators to support increased state funding for civil legal aid.
If you were unable to join us at the State House, we encourage you to call your state legislators to convey your support for adequate funding for legal aid. Click here for a fact sheet on legal aid funding. To find out who your legislators are, click here.
When calling, urge your elected representatives to make $55 million in funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (line item 0321-1600) one of their top priorities for the FY25 budget.
Despite recent funding increases in civil legal aid, provider organizations in the commonwealth can only serve about 50% of income-eligible applicants for representation. As the demand for legal aid continues to grow, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the funding of MLAC's budget request will allow more people to stay in their homes, maintain their livelihoods, and avoid financial and personal hardship.
Sample Phone Script
Hi, my name is ______ and I live at ______. I am a constituent of Senator/Representative ______ and an attorney at ______. Is Senator/Representative available? Is there someone in your office I can talk to about legal assistance funding?
(Reintroduce yourself to the staffer.)
I am calling today to ask for the Senator/Representative's support for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation's $55 million budget request for FY25 in line item 0321-1600. Civil legal aid provides vital support for low-income people facing critical legal issues, including housing, domestic violence, employment, health care and more.
Half of eligible people in Massachusetts who seek civil legal aid services are turned away due to lack of funding. Turning people away not only places many individuals and families into crisis, it also costs the state money by pushing people into emergency services. By supporting funding for civil legal aid, Massachusetts can help our most vulnerable residents stay in their homes, find safety from abuse, and avoid other difficult and costly hardships. Funding for civil legal aid is also a sound economic investment.
I would appreciate it if Senator/Representative ______ would get back to me on this important issue. My address is______, my phone is ______, and my email is ______.