MBA President Campbell calls effort 'a clear indication
of how dire the circumstances have gotten'
As Massachusetts begins its state budget process for fiscal
2013, the Massachusetts Bar Association has launched a high profile
awareness campaign on the effects of underfunded courts. The
statewide effort is geared toward the commonwealth's general
"Understandably, the average citizen may not appreciate the
irreplaceable role courts play in their security, livelihood and
freedoms," MBA President Richard P. Campbell said. "This
significant communication will attempt to change that."
Through a billboard campaign that began the week of Jan. 15, the
association is aiming to grab the average citizen's attention to
reinforce that court funding does impact him or her. The MBA's
message is showcased on billboards in Greater Boston, along I-93 in
Dorchester and Medford; in Worcester along I-290; and in Fall River
along Rt. 24.
The billboard message directs passersby to the MBA website,
www.massbar.org. Included on the MBA's site will be informational
materials on court funding, as well as resources citizens and
members of the legal community can reference when reaching out to
their respective legislators on this important issue.
As part of the informational online package, public service
announcement-style videos can be viewed. The videos highlight the
negative impact of inadequate court funding through the perspective
of judicial leadership, attorneys, academic leaders and court
"We've never done this before," Campbell said. "The fact that the
MBA has committed to elevating awareness in this fashion is a clear
indication of how dire the circumstances have gotten in the court
room atmosphere and operations."
The campaign has already garnered much attention. Following the
first wave of promotion on this high-profile, public awareness
campaign, media coverage has including pieces on/in boston.com;
State House News Service; MassINC's CommonWealth
magazine; WBUR-FM; the American Bar Association's
ABAJournal; Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly's blog,
The Docket; Banker & Tradesman; and Worcester's
Telegram & Gazette.
In addition, news of the campaign has received considerable
attention on social media, especially Twitter. Members are
encouraged to follow @massbar for the latest tweets on the topic or
to join the conversation.
Campbell said he realizes that the campaign won't reach every
citizen of the commonwealth, but he is eager to take the MBA's
communication and advocacy efforts to the next level to better
convey why Massachusetts should properly fund its third branch of
In addition to the billboards and YouTube videos, the MBA will
work to continue to share word of the campaign through
comprehensive outreach to membership and the larger legal and
legislative communities, as well as other key community and opinion
Gov. Deval L. Patrick released his version of the fiscal 2013
budget on January 25, while both the House and Senate will begin
their budget debates in April and May respectively.
For more information, go to www.massbar.org.