Hundreds of attorneys will gather at State House next Thursday, Jan. 30, to ask for increased funding for civil legal aid
Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland of the Supreme Judicial Court will join hundreds of private attorneys from more than 50 law firms at the Massachusetts State House on Jan. 30 for the 15th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Attendees of this annual lobby day, one of the best-attended of the year, will ask for increased state funding for programs that provide civil legal aid to low-income Massachusetts residents.
Justice Ireland will kick off the speaking program at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of Flags. Charlene Julce, a former legal aid client, will also speak. She will recount how her family’s dream of homeownership was nearly shattered when their bank issued them a predatory loan and then illegally foreclosed. Charlene’s attorney helped her successfully sue the bank and soon her family will be able to repurchase their home. The full list of speakers is below.
Following the speaking program, attorneys will visit their legislators and ask them to increase funding for the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation by $4 million to $17 million in the FY15 state budget. MLAC is the largest funder of civil legal aid in Massachusetts.
Increased funding is critical to restore service levels and prevent further cuts to civil legal aid programs, which have been struggling to meet demand due to an 85 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, a collaboration of the Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, and it is co-sponsored by several county and specialty bar associations throughout Massachusetts.
11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Great Hall of Flags
Massachusetts State House, Boston
The order of speakers is as follows:
• Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland of the Supreme Judicial Court
• Massachusetts Bar Association President Douglas K. Sheff.
• Boston Bar Association President Paul T. Dacier
• Charlene Julce of Malden – former legal aid client