Report to the Governor and General Court: Fiscal Year 2023
After each fiscal year, MLAC provides a report to the Governor and the Massachusetts Legislature that describes MLAC and the work of the organizations that it funds.
Information Booklets on Class Action Residuals
The Massachusetts IOLTA Committee publishes a fact sheet and three information booklets to raise awareness that Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 23: 1) identifies the IOLTA Committee and legal services programs as appropriate beneficiaries of residual funds and 2) requires notice to the Committee of the proposed distribution of residual funds in any class action in Massachusetts state court. For more information, please contact Jenna Miara, Executive Director of the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee, at 617-723-9093 or jmiara@MAIOLTA.org.
Documenting the Justice Gap in America
In April 2022, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) released The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans, a report that concludes that low-income Americans do not get any or enough legal help for 92% of their substantial civil legal problems. It documents the extent to which current civil legal needs of low-income Americans are not being met, taking into account the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the civil justice system, including both LSC-funded services and non-federal resources.
Boston Bar Association Report
In 2014, the Boston Bar Association’s Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal aid in Massachusetts produced the report Investing in Justice: A Roadmap to Cost-Effective Funding of Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts. This study, the result of comprehensive analysis of civil legal aid’s impact on the state, found that increased appropriations for civil legal aid would result in significant savings to the state by way of reduced expenditures in areas such as housing and domestic violence, among others. Economic analysis was performed by independent and nationally known economic consulting firms Analysis Group, Alvarez & Marsal, and NERA.
In connection with the Massachusetts Right to Counsel movement coordinated by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Analysis Group updated its 2014 study in 2020 to assess the financial benefits to the state of providing full legal representation to indigent persons in eviction matters. The updated report estimates that full legal representation in eviction cases would cost the Commonwealth $26.29 million, while the cost savings associated with such representation are estimated to be $63.02 million. Read the full report, Investing in Fairness, Justice and Housing Stability: Assessing the Benefits of Full Legal Representation in Eviction Cases in Massachusetts.
Voices of MLAC
In his Access to Justice Fellowship with the Equal Justice Coalition, former EJC Chair John Carroll interviewed leadership, staff, and other stakeholders in the Massachusetts legal services community. From these interviews, and using other historical resources, John authored a collection of narratives, tracing the origins of civil legal aid in Massachusetts and detailing the vital services provided by the 14 programs funded by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (a co-founding member of the EJC). Read Voices of MLAC.