MBA Pro Bono Prescription program 
launches in Springfield and Boston

Issue September 2011 By Jennifer Rosinski

The MBA Pro Bono Prescription initiative will host two open houses this fall where lawyers in any practice area can learn how to become advocates for low-income, medically vulnerable Massachusetts residents.

The Massachusetts Justice Project in Holyoke will host the Western Mass. open house at Elegant Affairs in Springfield from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27. The Boston open house will be hosted by Todd & Weld LLP from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, at its State Street office in Boston. Both open houses will be co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association and Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston, the founding site of the national MLP Network.

The MBA and the Medical-Legal Partnership Massachusetts network joined forces earlier this year to create the pioneering initiative, which brings together volunteer attorneys and medical professionals to promote the health and well-being of low-income patients through legal advocacy.

The MBA Pro Bono Prescription program will support patients by providing direct legal services to them - services triggered by referrals from health care teams to the local MLP site. Each local MLP site, most often housed with a local or regional legal services organization, will serve as the connector between the health care team, the volunteer attorney, and the patient.

The MBA's House of Delegates unanimously passed a resolution in January endorsing MLPs. The MBA's support follows approval from the American Medical Association, which passed a similar resolution aimed at the medical profession in June 2010. The American Bar Association passed a resolution endorsing the expansion of medical-legal partnerships throughout the legal profession four years ago.