Worcester, Mass.–Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly announced that Central West Justice Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of Community Legal Aid, is the 2019 winner of the Reginald Heber Smith Award for Excellence in Legal Services. An event to honor CWJC and other “Leaders in the Law” was held on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.
The Central West Justice Center provides free legal help to low-income and elderly residents of central and western Massachusetts. CWJC’s advocates focus on cases involving humanitarian-based immigration law, employment rights, housing and homelessness issues, and access to public benefits. Speaking at the event on March 6, CWJC Managing Attorney Leticia Medina-Richman said “We are very proud of the work we do and the way we are able to change our client’s lives; but there is so much more to do…For every client our advocates have helped, there is another person or family that we are unable to assist because our resources do not meet the need.”
Reginald Heber Smith authored the book “Justice and the Poor” in 1919. Smith believed that people without money were denied access to the courts. He advocated for changes in the court system and to provide the poor with access to lawyers, leading to the establishment of legal aid organizations throughout the country. Community Legal Aid’s roots in Worcester County date back to 1951.
Community Legal Aid, Inc. is the free civil legal aid provider for residents of the five counties of central and western Massachusetts (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester) and maintains full-time offices in Worcester, Springfield, Northampton, Pittsfield and Fitchburg.
Community Legal Aid envisions a community where all low-income and elderly people have ready access to legal services to meet their basic needs and where everyone can vindicate their rights and be treated fairly in their pursuit of justice. The organization helps low-income and elderly residents of Central and Western Massachusetts defend their most fundamental civil legal rights by providing free, quality legal representation to those who cannot afford it.
View the video that Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly made to recognize Central West Justice Center here.