Our History

Massachusetts Appleseed is part of a non-profit network of 18 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico. The centers work both collectively and independently to build a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest.

The idea for what is now the Appleseed Network began in 1993 when members of Harvard Law School Class of 1958 voted to establish Appleseed. Its founders sought to develop a new approach to pro bono legal organizations, one that focused on broad systemic social initiatives rather than on the traditional provision of legal services to individuals. This vision grew out of the idea that the best way to achieve big results is to work for the kind of change that levels the playing field and transforms entire communities at a time. The Appleseed centers identify and address issues particular to their communities and then connect with private practice lawyers, corporate counsel, law schools, civic leaders, and other professionals to tackle these difficult social problems at their root causes.

The Appleseed Network is now one of the nation’s largest legal pro-bono networks. The Appleseed Network and Massachusetts Appleseed were both incorporated on the same day in 1994.