By Leah Grannum
Photo credit: Sheridan Kahmann
AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts honored 36 graduates of its legal services program with an end-of-year celebration at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in July.
Each year AmeriCorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts places college and law school graduates in legal services organizations throughout Massachusetts. ALA members have opportunities to attend trainings and events as a group. Members serve at partner sites located across the state, where they’re supervised by legal professionals.
This year, their contributions to legal services in Massachusetts were extensive. They completed 4,128 intakes; opened and closed 4,542 cases (of which 42 percent were housing); engaged in 1,521 full representation cases; provided housing services to 2,629 individuals; assisted 1,220 individuals to transition into or maintain healthy, safe and affordable housing; assisted 121 veterans; and engaged 1,005 non-AmeriCorps volunteers to assist with 858 additional legal cases.
Speaking to the graduates, Lynne Parker, executive director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation said, “The assistance you provided undoubtedly impacted people’s lives in small ways and large ways and in ways that you might not have even imagined. One of the many great results of having served as an AmeriCorps Legal Advocate is that not only will you leave knowing you’ve made a real difference in people’s lives, but you will also be forever connected to the class of advocates you served with this year.”
South Coastal Counties Legal Services manages the day-to-day operation of the program in Brockton. Amy Copperman serves as the Program Director for ALA-Massachusetts. Copperman said, “It is my privilege and pleasure to have worked closely with this extraordinary group of AmeriCorps service members. I admire their energy and openness, and their willingness to sacrifice a year to serve our clients and to serve our country.”