Maine Justice Foundation Announces 2024 Coffin Family Law Fellow

12 December 2023 , Posted in: Press Release

The Maine Justice Foundation is pleased to announce that University of Maine Law School Juris Doctor Candidate, Haley Brazier, has been selected as the 2024 Coffin Family Law Fellow.

The Frank M. 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. Coffin Fellowship attorneys work for and are based at Pine Tree Legal Assistance’s Portland office for two years. To date, the Coffin Fellows have worked on a remarkable 2,117 cases on behalf of low-income individuals in Cumberland County who had no other legal aid resources available to them. Brazier will be the 28th Coffin Fellow.

Originally from Reston, Virginia, Haley received her B.A. in Anthropology and French from the University of Vermont. After living in France for a year teaching English, Haley moved back to New England and started off her public interest career as an AmeriCorps VISTA for two years at the City of Portland Office of Economic Opportunity. After she was regularly confronted with the various legal challenges that many disadvantaged Portlanders were facing, Haley decided to go to law school at Maine Law. Once a law student, Haley quickly found her passion in family law after interning at Pine Tree’s Lewiston office after her first year of school. Pine Tree’s work further confirmed her desire to continue working for legal aid services, resulting in her working as a student attorney at Maine Law’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic for the past year. With experience in legal issues ranging from family law, juvenile law, and immigration, Haley is very passionate about the success and well-being of all her clients and Maine’s communities. Haley says, “I am thrilled to be a Coffin Fellow, a role in which I can continue work in family law and toward my passion of ensuring all Mainers have access to quality legal services. I am equally honored and excited to work alongside Pine Tree staff and attorneys who are such amazing and fierce advocates.”

The Fellowship was launched in 1998 with the generous support of Portland area Law Firms. There are 20 participating firms in the program including Berman & Simmons, P.A.; Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P.A.; Cloutier, Conley & Duffett P.A.; Curtis Thaxter LLC; Drummond Woodsum; Eaton Peabody; Gideon Asen LLC; Irwin & Morris; Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry; Marcus Clegg; McCloskey, Mina, Cunniff & Frawley, LLC; Murray Plumb & Murray; Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, LLC; Perkins Thompson, P.A.; Pierce Atwood LLP; Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP; Roach Ruprecht Sanchez & Bischoff, PC; Robinson, Kriger & McCallum; Thompson Bowie & Hatch LLC; and Verrill.

“For decades, the Coffin Fellowship has played a critical role ensuring access to justice for thousands of Mainers in need. A lasting and impactful legacy of one of Maine’s greatest legal and leadership luminaries, Judge Frank Coffin, the fellowship is also a testament to the generosity and commitment to helping those in need by the many leading Maine law firms who underwrite it annually. The Interview Committee was exceedingly impressed with Ms. Brazier’s dedication to family law and access to justice and believe she will serve many Mainers in need and the legacy of the fellowship with distinction,” notes Michelle Draeger, Executive Director of the Maine Justice Foundation, and member of the Coffin Fellowship Hiring Committee. Other members of the Hiring Committee are Joan Fortin of Bernstein Shur, Gigi Sanchez of Roach Ruprecht Sanchez & Bischoff, Elizabeth Stout, Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Caroline Y. Jova, Family Division Manager, Administrative Office of the Courts, State of Maine Judicial Branch, and Lucia Chomeau Hunt, Directing Attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Ms. Brazier will begin her two-year fellowship in the fall of 2024.

The Maine Justice Foundation, founded in 1983 as the Maine Bar Foundation, is the state’s leading funder of civil legal aid and is committed to ensuring access to justice for all Mainers. Find us online at

FMI: Contact Michelle G. Draeger, Executive Director: (207) 620-1351,