Letter to the Editor (South Boston Today)

Below is an excerpt of a letter to the editor penned by MLAC Board Member Richard Vitali and published in South Boston Today on May 16.

Earlier this year, more than 600 attorneys, law students and others gathered at the State House to urge their legislators to increase funding for civil legal aid.

The “Walk to the Hill” is an annual event and was held in person this year after three years of virtual events. The event was organized by the Equal Justice Coalition, which is a partnership of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC). This annual event is to advocate for civil legal aid. Civil legal aid provides free representation, guidance and resources to people facing legal barriers to access basic needs and who cannot afford an attorney.

Massachusetts is fortunate to have a strong network of legal aid organizations that work to fill the “justice gap.” Legal aid attorneys provide essential representation to people with incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty level. In 2024, that equates to $39,000per year for a family of four or $18,825 for an individual. Approximately 13% of the Massachusetts population meets the eligibility criteria for civil legal aid.

Read the full letter here