Letters to the Editor: IOLTA; mindfulness

Issue May 2009

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the IOLTA Committee, please accept my thanks for publishing Bill Archambeault’s informative front page article concerning the variation in IOLTA rates paid by banks. The interest from IOLTA accounts makes up a critical portion of the funding for civil legal aid programs, providing free legal help for low-income people with issues like child custody and support, eviction, unemployment and government benefits. The IOLTA Committee recognizes “Leadership Banks” because of the role they play in increasing access to justice.

As a result of the article, several banks have heard from attorney customers requesting that they raise their IOLTA rates in order to better support legal aid. Without Lawyers Journal, few would be aware of the range of rates or understand that their choice of bank can make a difference for legal aid programs, which are facing increasing demand for help in these difficult times. Once again, thank you for highlighting this important issue for attorneys and our system of justice.


Jayne Tyrrell, Executive Director
Massachusetts IOLTA Committee

Dear Editor,

I was delighted to read MBA President Edward W. McIntyre’s column in the April issue of Lawyers Journal. I hope that his message concerning the value of mindfulness to individual lawyers, and to the bar at large, will spur further interest in and regular practice of mindfulness meditation. Despite the proven mental and physical benefits referenced in his article, those who could benefit the most often fear that meditation is either too esoteric, too “unproductive” or too softening of their “edges.”
Lawyers who practice mindfulness report the opposite; while they are calmer, they are also more effective; they think more clearly and make better decisions. While the benefits of the practice of mindfulness are incremental, many people find that even a weekly practice of meditation is surprisingly helpful.

We want your readers to know that lawyers have been meeting regularly every week at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Wednesdays from 11:50 to 12:50, to achieve deep relaxation followed by a 20-minute “sit” for mindfulness meditation. All attorneys are welcome. No fee or registration is required; just show up.

We thank President McIntyre for his call to greater mindfulness, and to Lawyers Journal for informing its members of this valuable resource.

Gina Y. Walcott, Esq.
Executive Director

Nancy Brown, LICSW
Staff Clinician (leader of Meditation Series)

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Inc.
31 Milk St., Suite 810
Boston, MA 02109