The Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) this week announced the appointment of Lynne M. Parker as the organization’s new executive director, effective Sept. 17. Parker has more than three decades of experience advocating on behalf of low-income residents, most recently as executive director of New Hampshire Legal Assistance. She will succeed Lonnie Powers, who will retire at the end of August after 35 years as MLAC’s executive director.
“We are delighted to welcome Lynne Parker as the next leader of MLAC,” said Marijane Benner Browne, chair of MLAC’s Board of Directors and director of lateral partner recruiting at Ropes & Gray. “Her wealth of experience, deep commitment to social justice, and impressive track record of forging alliances in support of civil legal aid will enable MLAC to build on the dedicated efforts of MLAC’s board and staff, particularly outgoing Executive Director Lonnie Powers, to ensure access to justice for Massachusetts’ most vulnerable residents.”
During her tenure at New Hampshire Legal Assistance, Parker served as a staff attorney and later deputy director before becoming executive director in 2014. She began her legal aid career representing migrant farmworkers as an attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Bangor, Maine, and later worked at Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (now South Coastal Counties Legal Services), an MLAC-funded organization.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected as MLAC’s next executive director,” said Parker. “I look forward to partnering with MLAC’s Board of Directors, staff, and stakeholders, collaborating closely with legal aid organizations throughout Massachusetts, and continuing MLAC’s longstanding commitment to building broad support for civil legal aid.”
A Massachusetts native, Parker holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Mount Holyoke College, and a juris doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. As a law student, she interned at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, another MLAC-funded organization.
Early in her career, she served with the Peace Corps in Guatemala, assisting women and girls in local communities develop the skills necessary to start their own businesses. She also worked as an AmeriCorps site director and as a housing advocate — an area of work which has been a focus of her time as a legal aid attorney.
Throughout her career, Parker has promoted staff diversity and linguistic competence, advocated for the rights of people with limited English proficiency, and conducted outreach to underserved communities — particularly Spanish-speaking residents.