SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and the Hampden County Bar Association announced today MassMutual's increased support for the Hampden County Legal Clinic, including a $15,000 grant and additional volunteer support through the company's in-house legal team. The grant is also intended to help support the expansion of pro bono activities currently administered by the Hampden County Legal Clinic.
The Hampden County Legal Clinic is a legal aid program that assists individuals at no charge who have limited financial resources and who meet specific eligibility guidelines. The clinic primarily works with residents on issues regarding foreclosure, tenant and consumer matters, and also works with regional attorneys to match their legal skills and expertise with pro bono opportunities.
MassMutual is stepping up its support to the legal clinic at a time when a significant number of individuals appearing in local courts have no legal representation. Currently, more than 76 percent of the cases in the Western Division Housing Court involve people who are without legal representation. Since 2008, MassMutual's attorneys have participated in the Hampden County Pro Bono Housing Court Project, a program that provides free legal services for residents who are facing either eviction or loss of their home and who do not have financial means to retain the services of an attorney.
"MassMutual has long been committed to making the communities where we live and work a better place, and part of this involves donating our own talent and expertise in areas where we can make a positive difference," said Mark Roellig, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, MassMutual. "Pro bono work directly impacts people's lives in a meaningful and lasting way, and enables our attorneys to serve as role models for both the community and the legal profession. Our increased support for the Hampden County Legal Clinic helps meet a significant need in our local legal system by offering counsel to individuals who cannot afford it, and also provides our attorneys and staff with a deeply rewarding pro bono experience."
Some of the volunteer opportunities provided by the clinic include general legal advice and services, limited assistance representation, mentoring with students at local law schools, and other community outreach programs. This year, the legal clinic is implementing a District Court Lawyer for the Day Program in Springfield District Court, as well as a Self-Represented Legal Help Center in the Hampden County Hall of Justice. In addition, in 2012, the legal clinic will be coordinating Question & Answer Legal Forums to be held throughout the area at local libraries and community centers.
"MassMutual's participation in our legal clinic symbolizes the beginning of a relationship that will benefit both organizations, as well as the community we serve," said Thomas A. Kenefick III, President of the Hampden County Bar Association. "The financial support and legal talent from MassMutual will go a long way toward our goal of helping to ensure that everyone in Hampden Country – regardless of income or resources – can have equal access to justice."
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders every year since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.
About the Hampden County Bar Association
Founded in 1864, the Hampden County Bar Association is a non-profit organization representing the interests of lawyers, the justice system, and the public in Hampden County in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It provides professional support, education and networking opportunities to its members, and advocacy on behalf of lawyers, the judiciary, and the public.