In 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court’s third Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission
(“Commission”) adopted a Mission Statement which included increasing the legal services
provided by private attorneys to those who cannot obtain the services of counsel. To implement
this goal, the Commission appointed the Access to Attorneys Committee (“Committee”), chaired
by attorneys Joel Feldman and Mary Lu Bilek.
The Committee had nine members, including: Shannon Barnes of Barnes and Leighton
LLP, Esme Caramello, Faculty Director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Jared Correia of Red
Cave Consulting, Joel Feldman of Heisler, Feldman & McCormick, P.C, Judge Robert Fields of
the Housing Court-Western Division, Laura Gal of Community Legal Aid, Ilene Seidman,
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Suffolk University Law School and Clinical Professor of
Law, Laura Unflat of the Law Office of Laura M. Unflat, Erika Rickard formerly Access to
Justice Coordinator of the Massachusetts Trial Court (and currently at Harvard’s Access to
Justice Lab) and Mary Lu Bilek, formerly Dean and Professor of Law at UMass Law School
(and currently Dean of CUNY Law School).
The Committee met for eighteen months to investigate and recommend ways in which
the private bar could meet the legal needs of litigants who cannot retain an attorney.
Its Report to the Commission can be found here, as well as in the Library section of this website