In Memoriam: Juliet C. Holmes Smith

The sudden loss of Juliet Holmes-Smith on August 14 was stunning and tragic. As an attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance and later the founding Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Juliet spent a career fighting for Maine’s vulnerable – especially for those escaping domestic abuse. Juliet possessed a perfect balance of fortitude and …

20 August 2020, Posted in: Uncategorized

Maine Justice Foundation Announces New Executive Director

“After a national search, the Board of the Maine Justice Foundation has unanimously and enthusiastically selected Michelle Giard Draeger to serve as our new executive director,” announced Foundation President William S. Harwood. “She has the skills and abilities essential to leading the Foundation into the future and advancing our mission of ensuring access to justice …

22 April 2020, Posted in: Our Work, Press Release, Uncategorized

Maine Justice Foundation honors champions of justice with new designation: Honorary Director

The Maine Justice Foundation (MJF) has named its five founders as the organization’s first-ever Honorary Directors. According to MJF Foundation President William S. Harwood, “Our foundation was established under the name “Maine Bar Foundation” back in 1983, thanks to the vision and hard work of these esteemed advocates, and we are incredibly proud to have …

7 January 2020, Posted in: Our Work, Uncategorized

Report shows how to fix the broken defense system for Maine’s poor

From the Portland Press Herald Editorial Board, 4/10/19:

Low-income Mainers are not being treated equally before the law.

The U.S. Constitution says every American has the right to legal counsel when the stakes are high.

In practice, however, the 80 percent of defendants who cannot afford an attorney are often left to navigate an adversarial …

11 April 2019, Posted in: Uncategorized

Hallowell lawyer recognized for volunteer legal aid hours


James A. McKenna III and four others were honored at a Katahdin Counsel award ceremony in Augusta.

AUGUSTA — For the third year running, attorney James A. McKenna III received a special award for volunteering five mornings a week with Pine Tree …

7 May 2018, Posted in: Uncategorized

Applications for Coffin Fellowships Open: Apply by October 12, 2018

The Coffin Family Law Fellowship provides legal representation in family law matters to clients who have qualified for pro bono assistance through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Named after Frank M. Coffin, Senior Judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals, the Project supports attorneys based in the Portland, Maine offices of Pine Tree Legal Assistance. …

23 April 2018, Posted in: Press Release, Uncategorized