Trainings for Individuals

Trainings for Staff/Organizations

Research Topics


“Can Estate Planning Be Antiracist” by Harry Margolis, Esq., (added to our site 6/28/2023)

The question of “How can estate planners use their skills and experience to decrease racial inequity?” is addressed in a superb and succinct article by Harry Margolis.

“Walk in My Shoes” by Danielle Johnson, Esq., (added to our site 7/27/2020)

Is the struggle for equal treatment and acceptance over once a Black lawyer is working in her chosen profession?  Not necessarily.  For Greater Boston Legal Services housing attorney Danielle Johnson, she faces discrimination on a daily basis in the subtle and often upspoken ways.  Court security giving her bar credentials greater scrutiny, her white and minority clients questioning whether she is up to the job, and often being the only minority attorney in the court room.  This eye opening article provides you with Attorney Johnson’s first hand experience as to what it is like to be a Black attorney in one of the busiest courts in Boston.

“When Medicaid Takes Everything You Own,” The Atlantic, by Rachel Corbett, 10/2019

For most Americans, entering and staying in the Middle Class was made possible through a combination of tax and social policies that allowed poor and lower income people to gain an economic foothold through home ownership and savings.  However, longevity, ill health and the need for publicly supported health insurance – Medicaid – have wiped out that opportunity, driving Americans deeper into poverty and depriving generations from acquiring the “American Dream” through gradual asset accumulation.  This article describes the Rhodes family’s medical crisis which forced its ill, aging matriarch into applying for Medicaid insurance.  With Medicaid’s onerous income and asset limitations, coupled by Medicaid’s reimbursement laws, millions of Americans and their families are being stripped of their meager finances and, over time, denied access to upward economic mobility.

“Kicked Off the Land – Why so many black families are losing their property,” The New Yorker, by Lizzie Presser, 7/15/2019

In an eye opening article, the story of the Reels family highlights the dangers of not having an estate plan—namely, a will—to establish and protect property rights for securing wealth and stability for future generations.  For over a 100 years, the Reels family struggled to hold onto their 65 acres of rich North Carolina marsh land where the remaining two brothers lived and worked.  After being jailed for eight years for civil contempt for refusing a Court order to move off their property, the two brothers lose their fight.  The Reels family saga exemplifies the plight of thousands of southern Black Americans  who, distrustful of the law, incorrectly thought that having no will would result in protecting their family members’ land rights.  Little did most families understand that the lack of an estate plan created unclear property titles, subjecting future heirs to systemic legal attacks by not only other heirs but land speculators, onerous tax takings, exclusion from capital and insurance markets, and blatant trickery that ultimately deprived generations of Black families of their property.   

Race and Contract Law (Click Here)An interesting presentation with short case studies on how contract law cases can both move contract law precepts forward and exhibit or further racial injustice. Discussions with students and faculty at the end include Critical Race Theory, racial subordination and equality in a law school curriculum, consumer protection laws, and continuing efforts to expose racism in other areas of the law and in law schools.

Becoming an Antiracist Lawyer (Click Here)  – This hour-long video incorporates foundational lessons in race and critical race theory, as well as hypotheticals, to help law students and lawyers enact antiracism in their practice of law.  The presenters identify three steps to becoming antiracist lawyers: 1) educate ourselves and accept the ways in which we perpetuate racism; 2) understand that there is no neutral position – there is either racism or anti-racism, but no “not racist” stance; and 3) approach the law critically – interrogate claims of neutrality in case law, and in policies, as well as in the workplace and in legal organizations. Together, the presenters and audience explore two hypotheticals – one involving implicit bias in the workplace, and the other involving a client who is perpetuating a racist policy.  Ensuing discussion provides concrete ways to enact antiracism in both scenarios.

Archived Links

ABA information on October as National Disability Empowerment Month

ABA toolkit on planning accessible meetings and events

Justice In Aging – Toolkit

MassNAELA’s Special Needs Toolkit, First Edition

NAELA News Journal Article on the importance of incorporating special needs considerations in your legal practice

Let NAELA help you spread the word on Special Needs Law Month

Pro Bono Legal Services Resource List

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is pleased to provide access to a Resource List to refer clients who need help but cannot afford a private attorney. The Resource List is a project of the Volunteer Lawyers Project. The list is maintained on a regular basis (Updated July, 2024):
To access the list full unabridged guide (including the table of contents, CLICK HERE)

Court Resource Center Brochure

(Click here) for the link to the brochure which was uploaded on August 8, 2023