MLAC is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, 10 of whom are appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court. The 11th is the Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Trial Court or that Justice’s designee.
Mala M. Rafik – Chair
Mala Rafik was appointed to the board in 2015 and became Chair in 2020. She is a partner at Rosenfeld Rafik & Sullivan, representing clients denied access to health care as well as individuals seeking short-and long-term disability, life and long-term care benefits from private insurance carriers. She is a member of the boards of directors of Prisoners’ Legal Services and Health Law Advocates.
Richard Vitali – Vice Chair
Richard L. Vitali is a private attorney whose practice includes civil litigation, real estate, housing, domestic relations, and criminal law. He has also served as Assistant City Solicitor for the city of Lynn since 1990. From 2011 to 2014 he was president of the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Legal Services. Following program reorganization in 2014, he became vice-president of the board of Northeast Legal Aid, an MLAC-funded program. He is the president of the grassroots consulting firm Business & Industry Advocacy Group, and is a former trustee of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Timothy Linnehan – Treasurer
Timothy M. Linnehan of the Administrative Office of the Trial Court was appointed to the MLAC Board in 2005 by the Chief Justice for Administration and Management. Tim serves as the Acting Director of Support Services for the Administrative Office of the Trial Court.
Marijane Benner Browne
Marijane Benner Browne was appointed to the MLAC Board in 2011. In her role as director of lateral partner recruiting at Ropes & Gray LLP, she is in charge of strategic growth and expansion through the addition of senior lawyers. She serves on the Public Service Committee of the Boston Bar Association and the Executive Committee of the Boston Lawyers Group.
Jeffrey Catalano was appointed to the MLAC board in 2019. He is a partner at the Boston law firm Todd & Weld LLP. Catalano has served in numerous leadership positions at the Massachusetts Bar Association and as a pro bono attorney for Massachusetts Advocates for Children (an MLAC-funded organization). He has a longstanding commitment to public interest law and the value of civil legal aid, and serves as a commissioner of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.
April English was appointed to the MLAC board in 2019. She is Chief of Organization Development & Diversity at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, where she has served in several roles, including as Director of the Insurance & Unemployment Fraud Unit. English brings to the board a dedication to public service and expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion practices that will help advance MLAC’s leadership in promoting these values in civil legal aid organizations across the Commonwealth.
Edward W. McIntyre is the Mediator-Arbitrator of McIntyre Mediation, where he has focused on alternative dispute resolution since 2008. He is also a sole practitioner with decades of experience in civil litigation, specifically cases involving serious and life-altering injuries. He is a current member of the Massachusetts Trial Court Department’s Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, and a former President of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He served as an officer in the US Army and is a Vietnam combat veteran.
Mary Jeanne Stone
Mary Jeanne Stone was appointed to the board in 2015. She is a sole practitioner focusing on bankruptcy, family law, and alternative dispute resolution, and is of Counsel to the Law Office of Nancy C. Stanton. Stone is the immediate past President of the Bristol County Bar Association and a member of the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments. She is a Massachusetts Bar Association Fellow, and serves on its IOLTA Grants Committee.
Geoffrey Wilson was appointed to the MLAC board in 2014. He recently retired as Presiding Justice from the Franklin County Probate and Family Court, to which he was appointed after a career in private practice in Greenfield. He also served on the boards of two programs that were consolidated into Community Legal Aid—Western Massachusetts Legal Services (WMLS) and the Massachusetts Justice Center—and was chair of the board of WMLS.
Alma Woodberry was appointed to the MLAC board in 2018. She has served as a member of Greater Boston Legal Services’ Client Caucus since 2011, and volunteers her time in many ways, including with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and also as an advocate for elderly residents.
I’m proud that my case set a precedent for other working parents.