Legislative Campaign Associate – Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) is accepting applications for a full-time Legislative Campaign Associate to provide administrative support for the smooth and effective functioning of the Equal Justice Coalition (EJC).

About MLAC and the EJC

MLAC is a nonprofit organization established by the Commonwealth to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC provides leadership and support for the continued improvement of legal aid to low-income people and is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in the Commonwealth. Learn more about MLAC at https://www.mlac.org.

The EJC is a project of MLAC, the Boston Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Bar Association, and its function is to coordinate state-wide advocacy for increased funding for the Commonwealth’s civil legal aid programs. The EJC is staffed by MLAC, and includes representatives from bar associations across the Commonwealth, law firms, and legal services programs, who work together to protect the state appropriation for civil legal aid. Learn more about the EJC at http://www.equaljusticecoalition.org.

Principal Responsibilities

The Legislative Campaign Associate (Associate) provides administrative support to the EJC and its director, including research, writing and event planning. The Associate will draft, edit and disseminate general and legislative correspondence; supporting the director in planning and implementing the annual legislative budget campaign, including assisting with events such as the Walk to the Hill lobby day; serving as lead contact with law firm team captains and  law school volunteers; maintaining and updating the database; helping to recruit and supervise EJC interns; preparing for and attending meetings, generating and disseminating meeting minutes; and providing back-up support for telephone reception.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have a post-secondary degree in a related discipline, or commensurate experience, preferably in state legislative matters with political and/or grassroots campaign experience, prior administrative support experience, and a demonstrated interest in serving the non-profit sector.

Additional Skills and Experience:

– Excellent communication and time-management skills
– Outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail
– Ability to work both independently and in a team environment
– Computer proficiency with Microsoft Office products
– Knowledge of database programs and/or editorial experience
– Some in-state travel may be required

Compensation

Compensation, including fringe benefits, is competitive, depending on experience.

To Apply:  Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter no later than Sunday, September 30, 2018 to jobs@mlac.org. Please put ‘Legislative Campaign Associate’ in the subject line of your email, and in your cover letter, please tell us where you saw this posting.

MLAC is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity in its workforce.  A crucial part of MLAC’s vision is supporting cultural and linguistic competence, as well as ensuring diversity of staff and volunteers, so clients can be best served. Women, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, people of color, and people who speak English as a second language are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided upon request to individuals with disabilities.

MLAC Urges Governor Baker to Protect Funding for Civil Legal Aid

BOSTON, July 7, 2017 – Today, the legislature’s conference committee released its compromise budget for Fiscal Year 2018, including level funding for civil legal aid through the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), at $18 million. This amount falls far short of the increase requested by MLAC and eliminates the increases in funding approved in the House and Senate Budgets, which both included a $2 million funding increase for civil legal aid.

MLAC disburses the state’s civil legal aid funding to 14 civil legal aid programs across Massachusetts that assist low-income individuals and families in resolving issues related to basic necessities such as housing, employment, classroom accommodations for children with disabilities, and conflicts related to child support and custody, divorce, and domestic violence. Eligible residents are those with incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty level, or an annual income of $30,750 for a family of four. Civil legal aid programs currently turn away an estimated 57,000 eligible people annually due to lack of funding. MLAC will continue to ask the legislature to increase the state appropriation for legal aid, as it is a sound economic investment and a lifeline for those who need civil legal services.

“We are clearly disappointed by the conference committee budget, and we will continue our efforts to protect funding for civil legal aid, which provides vital legal advice and representation to low-income individuals and families across the Commonwealth,” said Lonnie Powers, MLAC Executive Director. “We remain committed to meeting the needs of low-income residents who need access to civil legal services, and we urge Governor Baker to approve $18 million in funding for civil legal aid when he signs the FY18 Budget.”

About MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. Statement on Gov. Baker’s Budget Recommendation

BOSTON, January 25, 2017―Today, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker released his FY2018 budget with a recommendation to fund civil legal aid at $18,180,000 in FY2018. This is a one percent increase over the amount that civil legal aid was funded in FY2017.

We are pleased that Gov. Baker recognizes the role that civil legal aid funding plays in promoting equal access to justice for low-income residents of the Commonwealth. We are grateful for his support, particularly when proposals have been put forward in Washington DC that would eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides funding to civil legal aid organizations in every state including Massachusetts.

Given the great depth of unmet need among those seeking civil legal aid, and the significant return on investment yielded by civil legal aid funding, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) will continue to advocate for a $5 million increase, for a total appropriation of $23 million.

Tomorrow, Chief Justice Ralph Gants of the Supreme Judicial Court, Boston Bar Association President Carol A. Starkey, and Massachusetts Bar Association President Jeffrey N. Catalano will join hundreds of private attorneys from more than 40 law firms at the Massachusetts State House for the 18th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Attendees of this annual lobby day, one of the largest held at the State House each year, will request a $5 million increase in state funding for MLAC, which disburses the state’s civil legal aid funding to 14 civil legal aid programs across the state.

“Civil legal aid is a key part of efforts to provide justice in Massachusetts. It helps the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents avoid homelessness and unemployment, gain access to health care and veterans’ services, receive a quality education, and escape domestic violence,” said Lonnie Powers, executive director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC). “State investment in civil legal aid is critical to the success of these efforts, and with a return of between $2.50 and $5 for every dollar the Commonwealth spends, it is a smart investment.”

The request for a $5 million increase in civil legal aid funding is based on a recommendation by the Boston Bar Association Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, whose research determined civil legal aid is unavailable to the majority of qualified residents who seek it. The Task Force’s report, issued in 2014, demonstrated that civil legal aid programs are forced to turn away 64% of the income-eligible residents (at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Level, or $30,375 a year for a family of four) who request help with a legal problem for which legal aid could provide assistance.

###

ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts.

Workers at Bar-Way Farm in Deerfield sue owner Stephen Melnik for alleged violations and providing inadequate housing (Gazettenet)