Access to Justice through Innovation and Collaboration

New Directions and Emerging Opportunities: Exploring Cutting-Edge Developments Moving Us Closer to Our Goal of Justice for All

The legal needs of our communities far exceed the legal resources currently available — especially for those unable to afford to hire a private attorney. Many exciting efforts are underway to address this problem in Massachusetts and across the country. One thing is clear: we will need creative approaches and consistent collaboration to make a real and lasting impact on the systemic inequities that render legal help inaccessible for so many. Join us as we step back to assess this panorama, look to the horizon, and then work together to brainstorm solutions.

Our expert panelists will use their unique perspectives and experiences to take on questions related to:

  • Bringing a whole person approach to the user experience in court
  • Fostering better and broader collaboration within and beyond the courts
  • Harnessing technology to better serve clients and communities
  • Using research, evaluation, and data to assess impact and improve processes
  • Exploring New Models for Representation and Advocacy
  • Preliminary findings and Recommendations from the Justice for All Grant

In addition to a wide range of participants including private attorneys, legal service providers, court personnel, thought leaders, social services organizations, and community groups, we are proud to be welcoming Katherine Alteneder of the Self-Represented Litigation Network, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants, and Judge Dina Fein, First Justice, Housing Court Department, Western Division and Special Advisor to the Trial Court for Access to Justice Initiatives, as featured speakers.

Date: Monday, November 20, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: MCLE, 10 Winter Place, Boston, MA 02108

Conference Materials:

Conference Agenda

Keynote Address:
Kathrine Alteneder, Self-Represented Litigation Network
How Design Thinking Can Optimize Pro Bono Engagement in the 100% Access to Justice Ecosystem
SRLN brief — Design Thinking

Bringing a Holistic Approach to the Court User Experience:

Exploring New Models for Advocacy and Representation:

Improving Outcomes Through Evidence-Based Research:

Better and Broader Collaboration Within and Beyond the Courts:

Family Resource Center Materials:

2017 Fall Harvest Friendraiser

Join us on October 11th to learn about our recent projects to expand Access to Justice and the status of our Keep Kids in Class project.


Massachusetts Appleseed joins over three dozen civil rights and education groups on letter condemning Mystic Valley Regional Charter School dress code policy

Massachusetts Appleseed joined the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and other civil rights and education groups on a letter to the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School demanding it permanently rescinded its dress code policy that bans hair extensions and hair that is more than 2 inches in height to ensure that African American students receive equal treatment. The letter also calls for the school to remove all detentions and suspensions imposed on students for violating these rules from the students records.

Our friends at the Greater Boston Legal Services School to Prison Pipeline Intervention Project have created these helpful fact sheets to guide students and parents of students who have been subjected to school discipline. Please note that these are for information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship between Massachusetts Appleseed and any visitor to our website. Note also that there are two “know your rights” fact sheets below – one that applies only to Boston Public Schools students and the other that applies to students at all other public school districts. Additionally, the statewide know your rights fact sheets apply to district schools and charter schools, but they do NOT apply to parochial or other private schools. Finally, a student who is accused of possessing drugs, possessing weapons, or assaulting educational staff, will be subject to rules that are slightly different than presented on these sheets. If a student is accused of any of those offenses or charged with a felony, they should seek legal help.

Fact Sheets

Jonathan Chiel Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investments

Jonathan Chiel
Good Apple Award Recipient

Save the Date!

March 23, 2017
6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Award Ceremony
Boston Harbor Hotel, The Atlantic Room

10th Anniversary Good Apple Award

On Thursday, March 23rd 2017 Massachusetts Appleseed will host its 10th annual Good Apple reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Good Apple Award will be Jonathan Chiel, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Fidelity Investments.

The Good Apple Award is presented annually to a person in the legal community who exemplifies the true spirit of Massachusetts Appleseed’s mission; promoting equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Chiel has demonstrated his dedication to excellence in the law, public service and social justice and the reception will highlight his many accomplishments and commitment to caring for others.

As Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity Investments, Mr. Chiel also has responsibility for Fidelity’s Public Affairs and Policy Group. Prior to joining Fidelity he was General Counsel at John Hancock Financial Services, the US division of Manulife Financial and was a member of the Manulife Management Committee. Before joining Hancock, Mr. Chiel was a partner with Choate, Hall and Stewart in Boston, serving as chair of the firm’s Government Enforcement Practice Group. Earlier in his career, he was an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Boston office for 10 years, serving as Chief of the Criminal Division from 1993 to 1995. Mr. Chiel received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Harvard Law School.

Active in numerous civic, educational and charitable pursuits, Mr. Chiel currently serves as a director on the boards of the Boston Bar Foundation and the Maimonides School. Unwavering in his commitment to fairness and social justice, Mr. Chiel represents the very best in our legal community and is a “Good Apple” in the truest sense.

For sponsorship opportunities or tickets, please contact Stephanie Adler at

Invitation (PDF)
Sponsor Pledge Form (PDF)
2017 Good Apple Award Recipient (PDF)