In Memoriam: Juliet C. Holmes Smith

20 August 2020 , Posted in: Uncategorized

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 grace that served as the foundation of her selfless advocacy for the benefit of others less fortunate. She sought out work that few attorneys can bear and made it her life’s mission. All of us here at the Maine Justice Foundation knew her as an impassioned advocate for the vulnerable and needy, and a caring and valued colleague. We carry on today with heavy hearts, supporting this work in her memory.
– Michelle Draeger, Executive Director

It is not right or fair that Juliet was taken from this life at such a young age. Because of Juliet’s spirited advocacy, countless Mainers found justice and countless lawyers and other volunteers were moved to help make this happen. Her caring and hard work made such a positive difference to so many people. I will always remember Juliet’s kindness, intelligence, fearlessness, and special sparkle that is impossible to capture adequately with words.
– Diana Scully, former Executive Director

I had the honor of serving with Juliet on Maine’s Family Law Advisory Commission, where we were colleagues for nine years. After joining the Maine Justice Foundation Board, I was Chair of the Volunteer Lawyers Project Advisory Committee, when Juliet ran that program in association with MJF and Pine Tree Legal. I served on a working group which recommended that the VLP become a separate entity, and participated in the transition, which Juliet led, to the existence of VLP as we now know it. She was a fighter, with a wonderful sense of humor. Her special strengths were working to get the most pro bono contributions from the private bar and creating programs to get services to those who needed but didn’t have them. I can only think of her family at this time. Her loss is a great one.
– Michael J. Levey, Board Member.

Please read Juliet’s obituary here. Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Volunteer Lawyers Project, 75 Pearl St., Suite 214, Portland, ME 04101.