Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) provides statewide advocacy and leadership in advancing laws, policies, and practices that secure economic, racial, and social justice for low-income people and communities.

MLRI’s goals are to:

  • address public and institutional policies and procedures that either contribute to, or perpetuate, the cycle of poverty;
  • ensure that low-income and underserved populations across the state are provided the same legal protections, rights and liberties enjoyed by all members of society;
  • provide local legal services providers and community-based advocacy organizations that serve low income people with the substantive expertise, technical assistance, and support they need to best serve their clients.

MLRI furthers its mission through impact litigation, policy advocacy, coalition building, community lawyering, and public information.

In addition, MLRI serves as the poverty law support center for the Massachusetts civil legal aid delivery system and advocacy community. Our advocates provide expertise and support to local legal aid programs, social service, health care and human service providers, and community organizations that serve low income people throughout the state.

MLRI is considered one of the nation’s premier statewide poverty law and policy centers. For 50 years, it has been responsible for groundbreaking policies and innovative strategies that have advanced the rights of low-income people in Massachusetts.

“MLRI plays a crucial role at both the state and national levels on a range of poverty issues. We routinely look to them for policy innovations and creative ideas that can be used in other states. And we rely upon their outstanding legal and technical analysis to help develop and expand our own ideas. The statewide advocacy coalitions that MLRI leads, combined with their strong working relationship with elected and human services officials, sets the standard for a state advocacy and policy shop.”

— Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington D.C.