RealJobs: Juan Concepcion

Juan Concepcion’s work day on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

3:22 PM: “Amazing … and it is all pro bono … great pictures … Over 750 attorneys (including the 23 from Nixon Peabody) made it out to Beacon Hill to advocate for civil legal aid for the poor in Massachusetts …  there we all were (averaging an estimated $400/hour) standing in the Great Hall of the State House with politicians … It’s unfortunate that so many people have such a low opinion of the legal profession … I mean, don’t get me wrong: admittedly, we have had our few bad apples in the bunch, but they are thankfully only few and far in between … Time does fly, and how fast?! … I have been helping to coordinate the “Walk to the Hill” for six years … Seis Anos .. and every year our numbers become stronger and stronger … just three years ago we celebrated having 450 attorneys at the Walk … impressive to see how many big shot attorneys took off their busy schedules to advocate for the less fortunate … Governor Patrick’s speech was brief and to the point and without any surprises … the state budget is very tight but the importance of sustaining funding for civil legal aid programs is imperative …  families facing homelessness, elder victims of second mortgage scams, domestic violence victims fighting for custody of their children and individuals unfairly denied health care benefits … all rely on legal aid … most of them for survival … The shortage of funding plays a part in the increasing pro se problem in our courts … we are witnesses to the effect that this shortage has on low-income individuals … “Sir, can you spare a dollar so I can buy my son some warm soup? We are homeless …” In the budget now $9.3M for civil legal aid … this figure isn’t very much given the colossal need out there but, these days, every penny counts … Declining yields from IOLTA (interest on lawyer’s trust accounts) have further complicated things … Lawyers walk for justice … On January 27th, over 750 of us made that very clear …”

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