Below is a May 1 opinion from The Berkshire Eagle.
Equal justice under the law is an American ideal that, like so many ideals, is undermined by money. The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) upholds that ideal but needs the resources to do it.
MLAC financially supports 14 legal aid groups across the state. Its reach is extensive, helping residents in Berkshire County and elsewhere without the money or the legal expertise to get through child custody and divorce cases, fight foreclosure or eviction and deal with elderly rights issues, for a few examples.
Because of a funding shortage, MLAC turns away 64 percent of applicants, according to MLAC Executive Director Lonnie Powers, who met with The Eagle in April. Janis Broderick, executive director for the Elizabeth Freeman Center in Pittsfield, described MLAC to The Eagle as “life-saving” in the many ways it assists the center’s clients.