Academic Year Law Student Externships and Fellowships

Applications for remote or in-person, part- or full-time law student externships and fellowships during the academic year are accepted on a rolling basis.  Pine Tree is enthusiastic about partnering with law students and recent law graduates to develop fellowship proposals as resources allow. The number of opportunities varies from year to year.  To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume by email to Shannon Karam, Esq. (she/her/hers), Director of Pro Bono Services, at skaram@ptla.org.

Pine Tree is committed to creating an inclusive environment for staff and volunteers.  We encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds, including women, Black, indigenous and people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, immigrants, and people who have experienced poverty or homelessness.

Undergraduate Internships

Opportunities may include interviewing and presenting legal information to clients, and/or research, investigation, and assisting with development and program needs. PTLA also makes an effort to tailor responsibilities to each intern’s respective interests and goals. Interns can expect their experiences to enhance their understanding of Maine's civil legal system and of the obstacles people of low incomes face as they attempt to resolve often overwhelming legal matters.  

Interns will learn how PTLA and other nonprofit legal services providers work to overcome barriers to justice, while making valuable contributions toward this goal. Activities may include attending staff case review sessions, observing court cases, participating in our summer lecture series introducing many of our areas of practice, and participating in group projects.

Duties and Responsibilities may include:

  • Work closely with paralegals to intake new clients both in court and through call center hours.
  • Meet with clients and assist with preparation of necessary paperwork and the collection of relevant evidence, including gathering documents, and photographing living conditions.   
  • Attend case meetings (as schedule allows) where attorneys collaboratively review cases and develop legal strategies for litigation.
  • Shadow advocates at a variety of court proceedings, and possibly observe trial or law court arguments.
  • Participate in a weekly lunch lecture series, gaining exposure to practice areas at Pine Tree across the state and insight into how the various areas of practice work together to provide holistic legal services to low-income Mainers.
  • Assist with community outreach programs and research related to project and grant development.
  • Assist with administrative tasks (data entry, copying, filing, etc.) as assigned.

Requirements:
Pine Tree seeks highly motivated student interns, with a demonstrated interest in working with low-income individuals from diverse backgrounds. Interns should have strong research, writing and communication skills, and the ability to work independently and in a group.   

Summer Undergraduate Internships

Summer undergraduate internships are unpaid 10-week summer positions.  Summer interns generally work full-time (37.5 hours per week). 

For Summer 2022, Pine Tree's overall capacity to host undergraduate internships is limited.  Law student applicants have priority for this summer's internships, but are hired on an earlier schedule.  We expect to post the final list of undergraduate openings here on our website by February 18, 2022.

In the meantime, the following Pine Tree office locations and programs may consider undergraduate applicants.  Whether these positions will be in-person, remote or hybrid is indicated below:

  • Portland office:  Family Law/Victims' Rights Unit - hybrid position likely to involve some travel to mid-Coast courts - one position
  • Augusta office:  Family Law/Victims' Rights Unit - hybrid, or possibly in-person -- one position
  • Lewiston office:  One position covering both Basic and Family Law/Victims' Rights Unit - could be in-person or hybrid; remote may be possible.
  • Bangor office:  One position covering both our Indigenous People's Unit and Farmworkers' Unit - in-person preferred, but hybrid or remote possible.

When applying, please note which of these office locations/programs you are interested in, and whether you are available for in-person, remote, or hybrid work.

Instructions for Applicants

As noted above, we expect to have a final list of undergraduate summer openings (if any) posted here by Friday, February 18, 2022.  Please submit via email a cover letter and resume to Mary Murphy, Pro Bono Program Paralegal, at mmurphy@ptla.org.  Applications are due by March 4, 2022, and Pine Tree hopes to make hiring decisions by March 30, 2022.  Students must successfully pass a conflict and criminal background check before the internship is finalized.

Academic Year Undergraduate Internships

Pine Tree often has a limited number of part-time undergraduate internships during the academic year.  Applications for these positions are accepted on a rolling basis.   To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume via email to Mary Murphy, Pro Bono Program Paralegal, at mmurphy@ptla.org

Read what previous interns say about their time at PTLA