Equal Justice Coalition recognizes four law firms and UMass Law for legal aid advocacy

Awards recognize exceptional participation at the 2022 Talk to the Hill

The Equal Justice Coalition has recognized four law firms and UMass Law School for outstanding participation in the 2022 Talk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid.

The award winners are:

Ropes & Gray, winner of the Highest Participation Award

Goodwin Procter, winner of the Exceptional Support Award

Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow, winner of the Nancy King Award

Goodwin Procter and Ropes & Gray (tie), winners of the Team Advocacy Award

UMass Law, winner of the Highest Participation for a Law School Award

Davis Malm, winner of the Social Media Advocacy Award

Talk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid is a lobby day for increased funding for civil legal aid organizations through the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) state budget line item. The annual “Walk to the Hill,” event has been held virtually as “Talk to the Hill” for the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last January, nearly 1,000 attorneys, law students, and advocates convened online to ask legislators to increase the state appropriation for civil legal aid by $6 million. The Commonwealth ultimately included the requested increase in the FY23 budget, appropriating a total of $41 million for civil legal aid.

This year’s lobby day will be held online January 26, 2023, at 11 a.m. The speaking program will include Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd, bar association presidents, other leaders in the legal community, and legal aid clients who will share how civil legal aid helped them overcome challenging circumstances. Lawyers, advocates, and law students will have the opportunity to speak with their legislators to lobby for $49 million in civil legal aid funding in FY24.

“MLAC is so grateful to private bar attorneys and law students for their efforts to support civil legal aid and promote equal access to justice for everyone, regardless of income,” said Lynne Parker, Executive Director of MLAC. “Legal aid is a lifeline for tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents each year, helping protect their health, safety, housing, employment, benefits, access to education and more. It is crucial that we increase funding for this essential service.”

About the Award Winners:

Ropes & Gray won the Highest Participation Award for having the largest group of lawyers attend.

Goodwin Procter received the Exceptional Support Award in recognition of having the second largest group of lawyers attend.

Meehan Boyle received the Nancy King for bringing the largest percentage of law firm employees to the Talk. The award is named for Nancy King, a longtime legal aid attorney in Boston who passed away in 2007.

Goodwin Procter and Ropes & Gray tied for the Team Advocacy Award, which is given to the law firm that visits the most legislative offices during the Talk to the Hill.

UMass Law earned the Highest Participation for a Law School Award for having the most law students attend.

Davis Malm received the inaugural Social Media Advocacy Award, an honor given to the law firm with the greatest number of posts about Talk to the Hill across social media channels, including participation in the #ITalkForJustice placard campaign.

 About the EJC
The Equal Justice Coalition is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance CorporationBoston Bar Association, and Massachusetts Bar Association, working to increase state funding for civil legal aid.