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Our Advocacy: Impact in Action

MLRI's unique role in the legal services and antipoverty community is to advance systemic reforms and initiatives that have large impact.  Our advocacy focuses on impact. We address widespread problems, barriers and institutional inequities that affect low income people and communities. Impact advocacy leverages limited resources by focusing on reforms and remedies that are large-scale and long-term.  (For example, one change in a law, regulation or public public policy can address the root cause of a problem more cost-effectively than years of spending on initiatives to alleviate the social symptoms of the underlying problem.)

MLRI addresses issues on the federal, state and local levels covering high priority needs affecting low income populations. Our team of lawyers and policy specialists advance solutions to systemic problems that affect people living in poverty and share effective advocacy strategies with other organizations that work with low income people and communities.  

We achieve impact through multi-forum advocacy.  For example, we litigate and serve as co-counsel in class action cases, offer testimony and track legislative priorities, provide detailed budgetary analyses for legislators, negotiate and comment on public policies and regulations in state agencies, research and document inequities, track disparities in income and opportunity, and coordinate statewide legal services coalitions.

Issue Areas

MLRI's cross-substantive advocacy provides us with a unique capacity to identity and address the wide range of inter-related issues that affect people and families living in poverty. In addition, we focus on reforming institutional barriers to the court system that deprive low income and traditionally underserved people access to justice.

Our issue areas include:

  • Benefits/Cash Assistance
  • Child Welfare
  • Employment Law
  • Family Homelessness
  • Family Law & Domestic Violence
  • Health Care
  • Housing
  • Hunger & Food Insecurity
  • Immigration
  • Community Justice/Racial Equity 

Massachusetts Legal Services Websites Project

MLRI coordinates two statewide websites that provide legal information for low-income people and for legal services advocates on a wide variety of civil legal matters.

Note:  With limited exceptions, MLRI typically does not provide legal representation to individual clients.  If you are seeking individual representation, please contact a legal services office in your area.