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Employment

Join Us and Make a Difference Every Day

Pine Tree Legal Assistance employs a diverse team of individuals, each committed to making our communities more just.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from qualified candidates of all backgrounds.

Not convinced yet? This is what Legal Services Corporation President Jim Sandman has to say about PTLA:

“Since Pine Tree Legal Assistance opened its doors in 1967, it has developed a national reputation for leadership and innovation in the delivery of legal services to low-income people.  Pine Tree was the first legal aid program in the country to create a website to provide basic  legal information to people without a lawyer.  Pine Tree created statesidelegal.org, the go-to national website for veterans and  military families seeking information about their legal needs. In Maine, Pine Tree has had a huge impact: the abolition of debtors’ prison, the right to due process and a fair hearing in state welfare proceedings, the first successful employment discrimination lawsuits, improved housing codes and accessibility for people with disabilities, and nationally acclaimed foreclosure prevention work are all legacies of Pine Tree’s commitment to fairness and justice for all.  Pine Tree is a national standard-setter for excellence in legal aid.”

Pay and Benefits at PTLA

The salary range for PTLA attorneys in 2020 is $52,750 -$89,750, depending on experience.  The starting range for paralegals in 2020 is $38,750 - $60,750, depending on experience. Both attorneys and paralegals are eligible for a very generous benefit and leave package.  Pine Tree staff attorneys are eligible to participate in a LRAP program administered by the Maine Justice Foundation in addition to other loan forgiveness programs for which they may be eligible, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Current Opportunities:

Pro Bono Staff Attorney

KidsLegal Attorney

 


Pro Bono Staff Attorney

Working collaboratively with Maine’s other legal aid programs, Pine Tree is committed to a robust pro bono program designed to expand access to justice for low-income Maine residents.  To achieve this goal, it offers a menu of pro bono opportunities designed to appeal to Maine attorneys and law students and which are aligned with its core legal services and key client populations.  Pine Tree has an immediate opening for a licensed Maine attorney to join its three-person statewide Pro Bono Unit, based in its Portland field office. The position has been funded through September 2021 by the Legal Services Corporation and renewal funding for the position will be sought.  

The pro bono staff attorney is primarily responsible for the oversight of private attorneys that agree to take on full representation and advice only cases on behalf of Pine Tree. The attorney will work closely with other members of the Pro Bono Unit to develop projects that integrate private attorney involvement into PTLA’s priority areas of practice by coordinating and delivering training to volunteers, and supervising their work in court and at legal clinics. Additionally, the attorney will be expected to carry a caseload of their own, especially as relates to ongoing clinic coverage for which volunteers are unavailable. Pine Tree is projected to close approximately 150 pro bono cases in 2019 and anticipates that number will grow to over 300+ full representation cases in 2020 and additional advice only cases.

This position requires experience and skill in litigation, training and volunteer supervision and an ability to quickly develop comprehensive knowledge of various substantive areas of law and provide training and support to volunteers in those areas. While the position is based in Portland, where there is the highest volume of private attorneys, the attorney should expect to be in several courts in southern Maine and other clinic locations throughout the state on a regular basis to supervise a high volume of pro bono cases. The pro bono staff attorney must also work effectively with colleagues throughout Pine Tree as well as external partners and volunteers, and be responsive to grant and caseload expectations for the office.  In addition, the pro bono staff attorney shares responsibility with colleagues and Central staff for community outreach, development of client education materials and other program resources, and support of external activities that contribute to Pine Tree’s local reputation for excellent legal work and success in developing new funding partnerships.
 
Specific decisions about how to prioritize between these time commitments are made in consultation with other colleagues and the attorney supervisor. All work must be carefully managed and documented to meet funder expectations and must be delivered in a timely manner. The attorney is expected to be a valued contributor and supportive colleague to other members of the office and to the program as a whole, consistent with Pine Tree’s core values.   The complete job description for this position is available upon request.  Applicants must be eligible to practice law in Maine, with previous litigation experience.

To apply:
Applicants should provide a letter of interest, resume and contact information for three references  via email to Pro Bono Director Shannon Karam (skaram@ptla.org) , Deputy Director Chet Randall (crandall@ptla.org)  and Executive Director Nan Heald (nheald@ptla.org). Applications are encouraged by January 17,  but will be accepted until the position is filled. We encourage women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, or people who have experienced poverty or homelessness to apply.  Pine Tree Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from qualified candidates of all backgrounds.


KidsLegal Attorney

Pine Tree Legal Assistance has an immediate opening for a full-time staff attorneys in its statewide KidsLegal Unit. The position may be housed in any of Pine Tree’s six field office locations.

The attorney will be responsible for handling a wide range of education and civil legal needs of low-income families and children throughout the state.  The attorney will participate in IEP meetings and administrative hearings on a regular basis and will provide representation in education and other child related legal matters, including probate matters and health and income benefits. As resources permit and the needs of the client community require, the attorney may also handle litigation in other areas of law. While the typical caseload is handled at the administrative level, the attorney may handle matters in the probate court, district court, superior court, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and/or federal court. The attorney is also expected to provide supervision support for the work of the KIDS LEGAL paralegal, both in the provision of limited legal assistance and in other work specific to the attorney’s caseload. 

A staff attorney is expected to work a minimum of 1,650 hours/year and to bill a minimum of 60% of total work time to individual cases. Because KIDS LEGAL is a statewide project, the attorney will be expected to travel throughout the state frequently. The attorney is also responsible for community engagement, outreach, and networking to strengthen KIDS LEGAL and Pine Tree’s reputation and access to legal services by eligible individuals, consistent with other work and time commitments. These activities shall include development of written client education materials for www.kidslegal.org, the provision of outreach and/or trainings to staff, community agencies and other groups that serve low-income individuals, work on collaborations or other initiatives designed to address specific legal needs of low-income individuals, and convening of internal and external practice groups to discuss legal issues relevant to this work. Specific decisions about how to prioritize between these time commitments are made in consultation with other colleagues and the attorney’s supervisor. The starting salary for an entry-level PTLA attorney is $51,250+ depending on experience, with a very generous benefit and leave package. The detailed job description is available upon request.

To apply
Applicants should provide a letter of interest, resume and contact information for three references via email to Executive Director Nan Heald and Deputy Executive Director Chet Randall. We encourage women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, or people who have experienced poverty or homelessness to apply.  Pine Tree Legal Assistance is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from qualified candidates of all backgrounds. Previous experience with advocacy for low-income children and especially education advocacy is strongly preferred.