Greetings:

Happy spring!  We write to share upcoming events and access to justice related publications and information.

Events

Save the Date: Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Meeting, Thursday, May 27, 3-5

The next Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 27 from 3-5 pm via zoom. RSVP here.  A zoom link will be sent in advance.  The meeting will be an excellent opportunity to actively engage around the Commission’s activities over the past year and to look toward the next year.

Boston Bar Association: Amplifying Unheard Voices Program: Perspectives of Trans and Gender Nonconforming Attorneys, Organizers and Advocates of Color: Tuesday, May 4, 5:30 to 6:30

The Commission is pleased to be one of several co-sponsors of the Boston Bar Association’s Amplifying Unheard Voices series, which seeks to highlight and amplify underrepresented perspectives of attorneys, clients and communities that engage with the legal system regularly, and to move towards more equitable representation of and opportunities for these communities.

This fourth discussion in the series will focus on amplifying the perspectives of transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming attorneys, organizers and advocates of color. Conversations in this program will include what allies can do to meaningfully foster equity and inclusion for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people of color, in both the legal profession and in the community at-large. You can register here.

Access to Justice Related Publications and Information

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation’s 2020 Annual Report

On behalf of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) we are pleased to share MLAC’s 2020 Annual Report: MLAC-Annual-Report-FY20.pdf  MLAC is the largest source for civil legal aid funding in the Commonwealth. Funding for civil legal aid is always critical and this year was no exception. As noted in MLAC’s Annual Report,  “[t]he pandemic illustrated how essential legal aid is to safeguarding people during a fast-moving crisis that left vulnerable people in jeopardy of losing access to their most basic protections.”

“Annie’s Story – Another Victim of Viral Inequity”

Commissioner Jeff Catalano has written a tragic account of the experience of his pro bono client, Annie, who was evicted from her subsidized housing.  Annie’s experience further highlights how the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority groups. Jeff represented her through the Civil Appeals Clinic, an initiative hosted by the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project and partner law firms.

Survey: Share Your Experience with the Judicial System During COVID-19

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of South Carolina have developed a survey that aims to examine how the pandemic has affected access to justice and the operation of the courts for attorneys, judges, litigants, court staff, and other members of the community. The National Center for State Courts and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois System are survey co-sponsors. You can read more and fill out the survey here.  As a note, the survey is somewhat lengthy but the survey allows you to select which questions to answer.

Take care and be well and see you at our Commission meeting on May 27!