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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.”

Current Opportunities:

Paralegal Specialist - Bangor Office

Intake Paralegal - Lewiston Office

Development/Administrative Assistant

Staff Attorney - Machias Office

Managing Attorney - Augusta Office

Regional Farmworker Attorney

 


Paralegal Specialist - Bangor Office

The Bangor office of Pine Tree Legal Assistance has an immediate opening for a full-time paralegal position. The paralegal will primarily support two specialized units at Pine Tree that are housed in the Bangor office:

The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), which provides free legal assistance statewide to low-income taxpayers with IRS disputes and handled 130+ cases/year for individuals facing serious financial consequences for tax problems. Many program clients have limited English proficiency and relied on others for tax preparation that was not done correctly. The LITC works with volunteer tax preparers and attorneys to help resolve these issues. Part of the paralegal’s role will involve participation in Pine Tree’s statewide Call Center to identify clients appropriate for LITC services.

The Farmworker Unit (FWU), which provides or supports free legal assistance to agricultural workers throughout New England. Estimates suggest that more than 60,000 agricultural workers and their dependents work in New England on a seasonal or year-round basis. Many come to New England on a seasonal basis from Mexico or other Central American countries, Puerto Rico or Jamaica. Outside Maine, most workers are Hispanic or Jamaican; Maine has a significant Haitian Creole worker population. Many workers lack basic rights, face exploitation and live in fear of reporting abuses. Their legal needs range from enforcement of state and federal agricultural worker protections and related employment laws to protection from sexual harassment. The paralegal will assist local staff attorneys and partners in other States with a range of different tasks. Travel will be required as part of this work.

A detailed job description is available upon request. This position has been currently approved as a 12-month position but may be extended if funding permits going forward.

The starting salary is $37,250+, depending on experience. Pine Tree provides paid vacation, sick and parenting leave to its staff, as well as paid dental and health insurance for employees and their families.

Previous experience as an advocate for low-income people and/or tax experience is helpful; language proficiency in Spanish or Haitian-Creole is preferred. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to the program’s mission and core values, the capacity to work collegially and effectively with local program staff and colleagues, and the desire to contribute to and maintain Pine Tree’s high standards for excellence. We encourage women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, or people who have experienced poverty or homelessness to apply.

Interested applicants should email a letter of interest, resume and three references to Bangor Managing Attorney Judd Esty-Kendall at jestykendall@ptla.org and copy Intake Manager Maureen Boston at mboston@ptla.org and Deputy Director Chet Randall at crandall@ptla.org. Applications are encouraged by July 19, but will be accepted until the position is filled.


Intake Paralegal - Lewiston Office

The Lewiston office of Pine Tree Legal Assistance has an immediate opening for a full-time paralegal position.  This staff person is responsible for handling a wide range of civil legal needs for low-income residents of the office service area (Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin Counties), together with staff in the Lewiston office and around the State.   Case acceptance decisions are made by the office as a whole, consistent with Pine Tree’s Statement of Priorities and specific grant requirements, which may change over time.  On a weekly basis, the paralegal spends up to 22 hours/week responding to requests for legal help from low-income individuals who either contact Pine Tree by phone or email, request legal services as walk-ins to the office or as pick-ups in Court, or are referred by community partners. Intake responsibilities include initial contacts and client interviews, eligibility screening, computerized data entry of clients in the case management system, and the provision of legal information and referrals when appropriate. Some of this work is supported by Pine Tree’s general unrestricted funding; the paralegal is also responsible for working with colleagues to prioritize and appropriately document cases handled pursuant to specific funding sources. Under attorney supervision, the paralegal will also provide legal assistance to eligible clients, including client counseling and negotiations with opposing parties, and general litigation support (including work with clients to gather appropriate authorizations or records and service of subpoenas.) In addition, the office paralegal provides support with various office duties, including maintenance of office revolving funds and client escrow accounts, ordering of office supplies and other facilities issues.  The complete job description for this position is available upon request.

Previous experience working with individuals in poverty or those in crisis situations is desirable.  Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to the program’s mission and core values, the capacity to work  collegially and effectively with local program staff and colleagues around the state, and the desire to contribute to and maintain Pine Tree’s high standards for excellence.  We encourage women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, or people who have experienced poverty or homelessness to apply.

The starting salary is $37,250+, depending on experience. Pine Tree provides paid vacation, sick and parenting leave to its staff, as well as paid dental and health insurance for employees and their families.
Interested applicants should email a letter of interest, resume and three references to  Lewiston managing attorney Katy Childs at kchilds@ptla.org and copy Intake Manager Maureen Boston at mboston@ptla.org and Deputy Director Chet Randall at crandall@ptla.org.  Applications are encouraged by July 19, but will be accepted until the position is filled.


Development/Administrative Assistant

Pine Tree Legal Assistance seeks a creative and enthusiastic individual to join Pine Tree’s three-person development team as a Development/Administrative Assistant.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance is Maine’s oldest and largest civil legal aid provider. We believe that there should be fairness, justice and equality for all, and, that if we can instill more fairness in our society, there will be less poverty. Our mission is to ensure that state and federal laws affecting poor people are upheld, while also addressing the systemic barriers to justice faced by Mainers with low incomes. To achieve our mission, we provide free civil legal assistance in cases where it can make a difference in one’s ability to meet one’s basic human needs or in enforcing one’s basic human rights.   Funders have identified Pine Tree Legal Assistance as one of the most effective statewide civil legal aid providers in the country.

The Development Assistant will work with the Development Director and volunteers to implement our fundraising plan. The Development Assistant will work closely with the Development Director and Board’s Fundraising Committee to execute the annual appeal mailing, support fundraising events, and develop and implement an ongoing donor communications plan. The Development Assistant will be responsible for processing donations and maintaining and updating our donor database. The Development Assistant will staff the Committee which plans and supports the annual Muskie Fund for Legal Services Award Dinner, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020. In addition, the Development Assistant will provide administrative support to staff in Pine Tree’s administrative office.

The ideal candidate will be creative and hardworking, enjoy writing and collaborating with others, be detail-oriented, and motivated by the organization’s mission.  

Essential Functions:
•    Work with the Development Director and Fundraising Committee to help plan and execute fundraising events, including one signature annual fundraising event and several smaller events to raise awareness of our mission and programs;
•    Work with the Development Director to produce an annual written fundraising appeal;
•    Implement our donor communications plan, including creating print, web, and social media materials;
•    Help staff the annual Muskie Fund for Legal Services Award Dinner;
•    Work with program staff on an ongoing basis  to develop client stories, photo and video opportunities, and client speakers for events;
•    Manage donor and donation data in our fundraising software;
•    Manage time and priorities in an effective manner; and
•    Contribute support to Pine Tree’s Central Administrative office, including answering phones, opening mail, providing staff support to the Board of Directors, assisting with general building management tasks, and other tasks, as requested.

Job Requirements:
Applicants should demonstrate the following:
•    Positive approach;
•    Strong attention to detail and accuracy;
•    Excellent communication skills (oral and written);
•    Strong organizational skills, with the ability to prioritize work, multi-task, and handle multiple responsibilities in a timely and time-effective manner;
•    Ability to plan events while staying focused on specific tasks and details;
•    Computer proficiency in MS Office (including Word, Excel, Outlook, and Publisher);
•    Exemplary interpersonal skills;
•    Bachelor’s Degree preferred; related education and experience may be considered in lieu of degree; and
•    Desire to contribute to and maintain Pine Tree’s high standards for excellence.

Compensation & Benefits:
The starting salary for this position is $37,250/year and includes a health and dental insurance plan and generous leave benefits.

To Apply:
Interested applicants should submit via email a letter of interest, resume, and three references to Helen Meyer, Development Director at hmeyer@ptla.org. Applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received but are encouraged by July 19th.

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


Staff Attorney - Machias Office

Pine Tree has an immediate opening for a full-time staff attorney in its Machias field office, which serves low-income residents of Washington and Hancock County. The office is currently staffed by an experienced full-time paralegal and supervised by an experienced managing attorney based in Pine Tree’s Bangor office. Because other legal aid resources in the service area are so limited, the general staff attorney in the Machias office should expect to handle a wide range of civil legal problems, consistent with program priorities.

As a general litigator, the attorney will be in court on a regular basis to provide representation in consumer, landlord/tenant and benefits (including both health and income benefits). Additionally, the attorney will be expected to provide administrative advocacy in a range of different civil needs, including special education. 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 District Court level, the attorney may handle administrative appeals to the Superior Court as well as appeals to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.  Depending on experience, the attorney may also handle cases in federal court. Regular travel throughout the two-county service area should be expected, as well as to statewide trainings and meetings.

A detailed job description is available upon request. 

Previous experience as an advocate for low-income individuals is desirable. The starting salary for a PTLA attorney is $51,250+, depending on experience, with a generous benefits package.

To apply:

Applicants should provide a letter of interest, resume and contact information for three references via email to Managing Attorney Judd Esty-Kendall (jesty-kendall@ptla.org) and Executive Director Nan Heald (nheald@ptla.org).

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


Managing Attorney - Augusta Office

Pine Tree has an immediate opening for a managing attorney based in its Augusta office.  The Augusta office currently includes staff handling general legal services, as well as specialists in the Fair Housing Unit and Veterans Unit. The Augusta managing attorney has also traditionally supervised the attorney handling foreclosure defense cases.  The Augusta managing attorney’s caseload will primarily involve general legal services (especially housing and consumer matters) for low-income individuals living in the four county area served by the Augusta office (Kennebec, Somerset, Knox and Lincoln Counties.)

The managing attorney at Pine Tree is a recognized leadership position within the program as a whole. The managing attorney is responsible for both the quality and extent of legal work undertaken by their office or project and the performance of the staff that are assigned to that office or project. As a supervisor, the managing attorney is also expected to create and foster an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration among staff and volunteers that will continue to strengthen program services within their office or project.   The managing attorney must be an active and engaged member of Pine Tree’s small management team and committed to supporting their colleagues around the program. The managing attorney should be an advocate for local office and project needs within the program.  The managing attorney is also expected to promptly identify and bring issues of concern or controversy related to their office /project work or personnel to senior program managers for resolution.  When program wide protocols or decisions have been made by the Board of Directors or senior staff manages, the managing attorney plays an essential role in supporting/enforcing implementation of those decisions on a local basis.   The managing attorney also takes a leadership role in monitoring and addressing the reputation of their office/projects (as well as that of Pine Tree overall) within their local community.  Networking on a local level within the civil justice community, nonprofit agencies and potential funders should be expected.   Management responsibilities are currently anticipated to require a minimum of 15 hours/week. Managing attorneys also maintain an active caseload, adjusted to reflect their management responsibilities.   

Pine Tree managers must be licensed Maine attorneys with a minimum of five years of experience as a legal aid attorney and two years in leadership roles within the program or community.   The following qualifications are also important:

•    A demonstrated commitment to the provision of high quality legal service within their own work and program wide;
•    Enthusiasm for communicating their passion and commitment to the work to colleagues, employees, and external stakeholders;
•    The ability to teach the practice of law to new staff and volunteers;
•    Experience motivating and managing staff and/or volunteers;
•    A demonstrated commitment to strengthening the quality and reputation of the program as a statewide legal aid provider;
•    A demonstrated commitment to Pine Tree’s core values and willingness to help staff improve their work over time;
•    Strong time management, organizational and communication skills

Additional information about the position is available upon request.  The expected annual salary will be in the range of $58,000 – $75,000 depending on experience; Pine Tree provides a very generous benefits and leave package to all of its staff.
To apply
Applicants should provide a letter that details your interest in the position, your qualifications, and what you hope to contribute to Pine Tree’s future, together with a current resume and contact information for three professional references.  Application materials should be emailed to both Executive Director Nan Heald at nheald@ptla.org  and Deputy Director Chet Randall at crandall@ptla.org by May 31st, 2019, although the position will remain open until it is filled.

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


Regional Farmworker Attorney

Pine Tree has an immediate opening for a full-time staff attorney to address the legal needs of agricultural workers in New England, working as part of a two-person team with an existing and  experienced Farmworker Unit attorney at Pine Tree, and with access to other civil legal aid attorneys and advocates handling this work around the United States.   Based on a recent  needs assessment, the position will be primarily focused on development and support of a strong network supporting the legal needs of agricultural workers and their dependents in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut, working with local  legal service providers, law school clinics, and other state agency and nonprofit groups that serve that community in each State.   As a result, the position will require significant travel outside Maine,  particularly between May – October of each year.  The position can be housed in any one of Pine Tree’s six office locations throughout Maine.

As soon as they start work, the attorney will finalize a 2019 work plan that is designed to support and strengthen  access to legal services for the diverse farmworker communities in each State.  This is expected to include training and other forms of support to agencies and other groups, outreach to labor sites and other places where agricultural workers may congregate,  and the provision of case consultations and related support to local attorneys willing to represent agricultural workers with legal needs.  The attorney will also manage any subgrants with LSC-funded programs to handle outreach and client services, develop or update written client education materials on various legal issues, participate in national discussions and meetings related to the legal needs of agricultural workers,  and work closely with  Pine Tree’s Administrative Office on related reporting.  In the first year, the attorney will also handle a small caseload on behalf of Maine agricultural workers, working in partnership with Pine Tree’s other staff attorney in the Unit; this caseload should expand in the future after the regional network is more established.  A detailed job description is available upon request.

Applicants must be admitted to the practice of law in Maine, or eligible to practice under MRCP 89(c). Previous employment law experience and a demonstrated ability to work effectively as a trainer and coordinator of services with disparate groups and organizations is required.  Fluency in Spanish is preferred; prior work as an advocate for low-income individuals (and especially agricultural workers)  is highly desirable. The starting salary for an entry-level PTLA attorney is $51,250+ depending on experience, with a generous benefit and leave package.

To apply:
Applicants should provide a letter of interest, resume and contact information for three references via email to Managing Attorney Judd Esty-Kendall (jesty-kendall@ptla.org) and Executive Director Nan Heald (nheald@ptla.org). Applications are encouraged by June 30th but will be accepted until the position is filled.

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