Law center event

Our Impact

Our Steps To Advance Social Justice

$118,657 was saved with our consumer debt initiative with another $65,200 pending hardship dismissal
In 2020, CSJ volunteers completed over 3,065 hours, which represents $750,000 in free legal services provided
237 defendants have been served by the CDI since the courts reopened virtually in late September 2020


28 legal/CORI Clinic Participants and 75 attendees participated in our Massachusetts Virtual Sealing and Expungement Event 2021

Awarded $17,300 in student stipends and $13,000 to faculty over the 2020 summer who developed COVID-19-related projects to address the impact of today’s global pandemic on the ground

$817,000 grant funding awarded for the Center since May 2019

Partnerships & Community Building 

The CSJ has developed relationships with social justice-minded students and student groups, including WNEU’s U&ME, GSA, and Social Justice & Snacks, and the Law School’s numerous student groups (particularly NLG, BLSA, LLSA, WLA, HLA, PILA, Outlaw, SBA, WBA, Law Review, and Lex Brevis).

We have focused on community outreach and partnership building, including having weekly meetings with MassMutual and other social justice organizations, as well as jointly hosting virtual programming with the Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, the Springfield Public Forum, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, and Greater Springfield Nonviolence. We also have developed partnerships with Northeastern University School of Law’s Criminal Justice Task Force (Confronting Racial Injustice series), and the Justice Initiative with Harvard Law School and Howard University, which we joined at a partner level (indicating highest level of contribution). 

The CSJ is continuously actively developing cross-campus collaboration, including building relationships with, and executing, joint programming alongside WNEU's Office of Diversity Programs and Services, School of Law Diversity and Outreach Committee, Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, and COTAD diversity group. We have fostered other strong cross-campus relationships around social justice and the Center’s work with the Education Department, Admissions Departments, Marketing and Advertising Departments, and Advancement/Development Departments. 

Events & CSJ Programming 

We have hosted and supported several well-attended events recently, including:

  • Gervino-Ward LGBTQ+ Speaker Series Evan Wolfson: founder of Freedom to Marry—the successful campaign for marriage equality in the United States.
  • The Color of Life in a Time of Crisis: Thinking Through Racial Disparities During COVID-19 
  • From the Courthouse to the Streets: Lawyering in the Time of Black Lives Matter
  • Big Dirty Money: The Shocking Injustice and Unseen Cost of White-Collar Crime with Professor Jennifer Taub
  • Lessons from the Pleasure and Power of Black Music in the age of Hip Hop
  • Clason Speaker Series Lecture, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia: Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump
  • A conversation with Black Panther Party Chairman Elaine Brown
  • Dr. Vicki Vernon Lott and Greater Springfield Nonviolence, The Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • Pathway to Judgeship
  • Intersection of Law and Occupational Therapy: Disability Rights 
  • CSJ movie nights: Just Mercy and Judas and the Black Messiah

We provided the following trainings:

  • CDI Basics and Advanced Level Trainings
  • Massachusetts Expungement and Sealing Trainings
  • National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer Training

Sustainability & Long Term Impact 

For the Center to achieve its mission as well as to expand its capacity and ensure long-term viability, we will need a strong economic foundation and diversified support. We are grateful for the generous support we have received to date, which has allowed us to achieve success in effectuating our mission and goals:

  • General operating support from the MassMutual Law Department,
  • MassMutual Foundation Grants for the Consumer Debt Initiative,
  • A newly created partnership with MAIA Organics for ongoing sealing and expungement work,
  • Health New England for a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) mini grant for a project addressing Racism as a Social Determinant of Health in our community,
  • The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts who made a contribution to the CSJ for our work on a women’s economic empowerment hub, and an LSAC donation to the Center for summer 2020 programming.
  • In addition, the CSJ has been a recipient of many generous donations from individuals since our founding. We are so appreciative of this funding, which allows us to pursue social justice on behalf of the underserved in our community.

We also have helped to separately fundraise over $6,000 for our sealing and expungement work with grassroots organizers and the National Expungement Week, and are managing those funds in an agency account for the coalition.

For more on the CSJ’s impact and future goals, please check out our latest Strategic Plan, End of Year Celebration Event Programs, and Annual Reports.