The family law unit represents low-income individuals in Divorce and Parental Rights and Responsibilities cases in several Maine District Courts. We also represent victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault in Protection from Abuse proceedings. Many of our clients are victims of domestic violence, and our work helps to secure safety for families and economic stability for parents. English is not the first language of many of our clients, who come from diverse backgrounds, including many different refugee populations. Among other partnerships, we work closely with domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy organizations.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance's family law unit offers internship and externship opportunities throughout the year for law students. Because these positions are unfunded, we seek interns who can obtain full outside funding, will work on a for-credit basis, are seeking volunteer opportunities, or are trying to fulfill law school pro bono requirements. Law students should inquire about public interest funding sources at their law school, including MAPIL and NAPIL fellowships, and should explore the Equal Justice America Fellowships.
Law student interns in the family law unit will, depending on experience, perform a range of case-related tasks, including: gathering evidence, reviewing records, preparing pleadings and discovery, preparing simple motions, performing legal research, preparing hearing memoranda, and interviewing clients. Law students will have the opportunity to observe court appearances and hearings, and eligible students may try protection from abuse cases under supervision. Interns not eligible to appear in court will be able to participate in cases up to the hearing stage and will assist attorneys with trial preparation and other related tasks on family law cases. In addition, students may perform legal research projects on family law and domestic violence issues, and may work on creating or retooling client education materials and client surveys. Law students will be included in regular family law unit meetings and will also meet regularly with an attorney supervisor.
Law students who are working towards completion of their pro bono hour requirement may do short-term research projects during school breaks either in the summer or during the academic year. These projects will be specific in nature and can be adapted to the time available by the law student.
Family law internships are available in the Portland office. Direct-service experience and a demonstrated interest in domestic violence and social justice issues preferred. Interested students should send a resume and cover to:
Family Law Unit
Pine Tree Legal Assistance
88 Federal Street
P.O. Box 547
Portland ME 04112
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but priority is given to applications for first semester internships by August 1st, second semester internships by January 1st, and summer positions received by March 15th. This position will be housed in our Portland office.
Law student applicants interested in pursuing a MAPIL or NAPIL fellowship should contact us to discuss their fellowship proposal at least one month in advance of the law school's application deadline.