New & improved MLRI website will be launched soon - any day now (March 2018)!

Welcome to the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) is a statewide nonprofit poverty law and policy center. Its mission is to advance economic, racial and social justice through legal action, policy advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach. MLRI specializes in large-scale legal initiatives and systemic reforms that address the root causes of poverty, remove barriers to opportunity, and create a path to economic stability and mobility for low-income individuals, families and communities.

In addition, MLRI serves as the statewide poverty law support center for the Massachusetts civil legal services delivery system, providing expertise and support to local legal aid programs and also to social service, health care and human service providers, and other community organizations that serve low income people.

For 50 years, MLRI’s advocacy has been responsible for groundbreaking policies that have advanced the legal, economic and social rights of low-income people. It is considered one of the leading statewide poverty law and policy centers in the nation.

NEW & NEWSWORTHY! MLRI Releases Important Study on School Meal Debt in Massachusetts

A new study released on March 6, 2018 by MLRI finds that the policies of many Massachusetts school districts towards families with unpaid school meal debt can be punitive towards children in low income households.  MLRI conducted an inventory of 154 Massachusetts public school districts over a six month period that do not provide universal free school meals.  The report is entitled “Denying Food and Shaming Children: Unpaid School Meal Policies in Massachusetts”. (PDF of the report can be obtained by clicking the item below.)

Cover of the report Denying Food and Shaming Children