History and Staffing
WMLS, incorporated in 1972, resulted from the consolidation of local poverty law programs in Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties originally funded under the Office of Economic Opportunity. We are the largest civil legal services program in Western Massachusetts, and the second largest program in Massachusetts.
Our staff is an extraordinary team of compassionate, dedicated professionals with a wealth of expertise in poverty law. We have a new Executive Director and an Advocacy Director who has committed his entire career to legal services, 4 managing attorneys with active caseloads, experts in their respective substantive areas and a diverse staff of attorneys, paralegals, AmeriCorps volunteers, secretaries, other administrative staff and volunteers whose work makes equal justice a reality and improves the lives of thousands of poor people and elders. Last year, close to 9,000 people benefited from WMLS casework.
WMLS is governed by an active, committed Board of Directors which consists of 13 lawyers, 7 low income members, and one member-at-large. A majority are appointed by the four county bar associations in WMLS' service area. People eligible for WMLS assistance serve on the board and play a role in establishing WMLS policy.