Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission
Justice is Everyone’s Business
A2J In The Real World
Access to Lawyers for Crime Victims
Massachusetts has assembled a state-wide Civil Legal Aid for Victims of Crime (CLAVC) team providing free assistance on civil legal issues arising out of violence.
Access to Justice Fellows
Retired attorney “Bats” Wheeler, while working as an Access to Justice Fellow, has made hundreds of “Wills On Wheels” house calls to elderly, disabled and/or low income clients in 41 cities and towns.
Innovative Legal Aid Funding
The voluntary “add-on opt-out” fee to a lawyer’s yearly attorney registration has already generated $7.5 million for civil legal aid for low income people.
Civil Appellate Pro Bono Program
The weekly program assists low income, self-represented litigants who are looking for both professional advice and an attorney to take on their appeal pro bono.
What is A2J?
We are all entitled to justice.
But poverty, physical disability and language barriers are just some of the obstacles that prevent people from gaining full access to all the remedies and relief – in a word, Justice – that our Courts and Government Agencies can provide. The Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission is working to ensure that everyone in Massachusetts has access to the Justice they deserve.
The Commissioners & Team at Massachusetts Access to Justice
Sue Finegan, Esq.
Co-Chair, Access to Justice Commission
Sue is a partner in the Litigation Section and is Chair of the Pro Bono Committee at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. Appointed the firm’s first Pro Bono Partner in 2007, Sue serves as lead counsel on numerous high profile pro bono litigation matters. She also manages the firm’s pro bono efforts, consisting of over 300 varied cases annually throughout Mintz’s eight offices. Sue was appointed to the Access to Justice Commission in 2011, and has served as its co-chair for six years. Through her leadership on the Access to Justice Commission, she spearheaded creative funding mechanisms to support legal aid organizations, developed the statewide civil appellate pro bono program for self-represented litigants, and co-founded the Access to Justice Fellows program. Sue serves on many nonprofit boards and commissions, and has previously served as the Chair of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and the Chair of the Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Access to Justice Commissioners
The goal of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission is to achieve equal justice for all persons in the Commonwealth. It strives to accomplish this goal by providing leadership and vision to, and coordination with, the many organizations and interested persons involved in providing and improving access to justice for those unable to afford counsel.
It takes many resources and the hands of so many amazing people to make the kind of progress we seek.
Click to see a full list of the Access to Justice current Commissioners.
Carolyn Goodwin, Esq.
Director, Access to Justice Commission
Attorney Goodwin joins the Commission from Boston University School of Law, where she most recently served as Director of Public Service and Pro Bono. She is also the co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Delivery of Legal Services Steering Committee, a previous member of the National Advisory Committee for Equal Justice Works, and formerly chaired the Public Service and Pro Bono Section of the American Association of Law Schools. Atty Goodwin has also held positions as an assistant attorney general for the State of New York; as an attorney in private practice representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination and civil rights litigation, and tenants in landlord-tenant matters; and as a pro se staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.