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.  We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We  encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds, including women, Black, indigenous and people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, immigrants,  and people who have experienced poverty or homelessness.

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.”

Pay and Benefits at PTLA

The salary range for PTLA attorneys and senior leadership in 2021 is $54,250 -$91,250, depending on experience.  The starting range for paralegals and administrative staff in 2021 is $40,250 - $62,250, depending on experience. All staff are eligible for a very generous benefit and leave package.  Pine Tree staff attorneys are eligible to participate in a LRAP program administered by the Maine Justice Foundation in addition to other loan forgiveness programs for which they may be eligible, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Important Notice: Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws

You can review the posters below, which will inform you about these rights:

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

Current Opportunities:

  • Attorney Specialist for Eviction Prevention, Service Coordination and Training
  • Housing Stability Client Education Coordinator and Litigation Attorney
  • Bangor General Legal Services Attorney

 

Attorney Specialist for Eviction Prevention, Service Coordination and Training

As a result of new funding, Pine Tree Legal Assistance has an immediate opening in its Augusta field office for a staff attorney position focused on creating a statewide coordinated community response and strengthening access to legal services that will prevent evictions and homelessness.    Elements of that approach include the following:

  • Develop a strong collaborative partnership with Maine’s Community Action Agencies (CAA’s) engaged in Emergency Rental Assistance distribution and rental counseling related to housing stability to strengthen referral of tenants to Pine Tree for legal services or other service providers as needed.  This work will also involve efforts to continue and expand on Pine Tree’s long-standing coordination and support of the Maine Housing Counseling Network (MHCN.)
  • Develop a training program for CAA staff on issues related to housing stability, including eviction prevention, housing quality and safety issues, housing discrimination, accessing income such as IRS stimulus checks or unemployment compensation, debt related issues that impact their ability to pay rent, as well as incidents of illegal evictions, and housing quality standards that cause homelessness.
  • Share responsibilities for Pine Tree’s current weekly tenant information webinar on the FED process at https://www.ptla.org/fed.
  • Handle and litigate eviction proceedings for tenant households eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance and PTLA services, and who are at risk of homelessness. Advocacy will range from legal advice and brief legal assistance to negotiations, mediation, and full legal representation at final hearings. This can also include holistic advocacy that supports the goal of housing stability, including housing safety and discrimination issues in rental housing, accessing income such as IRS stimulus checks or unemployment compensation; addressing debt issues that impact the client ability to pay rent, as well as illegal evictions, and housing quality standards that cause homelessness.

Specific decisions about how to prioritize between these time commitments will be made in consultation with the attorney’s supervisor. Consistent with pandemic restrictions and PTLA policies, travel may be required to appear in Court or participate in trainings and meetings.  The attorney is also expected to provide supervision support for program paralegals, both in the provision of limited legal assistance and in other work specific to the attorney’s responsibilities. 

The position requires the attorney to be admitted to the practice of law in Maine or to be eligible to practice under MRCP Rule 89(c). Both litigation experience and specific experience with eviction advocacy is required. 

This position is currently funded through April 2022 through a contract with Maine Housing based on the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program; funding may be available to continue this program going forward.   A copy of the full job description is available upon request.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest which details their experience and a current resume to Managing Attorney and position supervisor Erica Veazey (eveazey@ptla.org), with copies to Executive Director Nan Heald (nheald@ptla.org), Deputy Director Chet Randall (crandall@ptla.org),  and HR Director Olesya Shkut (oshkut@ptla.org). Applications are encouraged by May 17 but will be accepted until the position is filled.


Housing Stability Client Education Coordinator and Litigation Attorney

As a result of new funding, Pine Tree Legal Assistance has an immediate opening in its Bangor field office for a staff attorney position focused on creating and updating self-help tools, legal information, and resources for tenants, and providing direct legal assistance to tenants. There are three primary areas of responsibility in this role:

  • Creating and updating educational materials for tenants related to housing stability in collaboration with Pine Tree’s Client Focused Technology Innovator.  Content will focus on the eviction process, as well as other legal protections that support the goal of housing stability (including housing safety and discrimination issues in rental housing, accessing income such as IRS stimulus checks or unemployment compensation; addressing debt issues that impact the client ability to pay rent, protections related to illegal evictions, and housing quality standards that cause homelessness). This effort will include creation  and/or updating of  written guides, videos and/or social media content for inclusion on www.ptla.org and www.kidslegal.org,  including translation of content to ensure its accessibility to Maine residents with limited English proficiency and/or disabilities that might otherwise impair  access to this information.
  • Develop and conduct community education events for client communities and/or other groups supporting low-income Maine residents who might be at risk of eviction to explain the legal process, available protections, and the legal assistance resources available in Maine.  This work will also include shared responsibilities for Pine Tree’s current weekly tenant information webinar on the FED process at https://www.ptla.org/fed.  
  • Handle and litigate eviction proceedings for tenant households eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance and PTLA services, and who are at risk of homelessness. Advocacy will range from legal advice and brief legal assistance to negotiations, mediation, and full legal representation at final hearings. This can also include holistic advocacy that supports the goal of housing stability, including housing safety and discrimination issues in rental housing, accessing income such as IRS stimulus checks or unemployment compensation; addressing debt issues that impact the client ability to pay rent, as well as illegal evictions, and housing quality standards that cause homelessness.

The position requires the attorney to be admitted to the practice of law in Maine or to be eligible to practice under MRCP Rule 89(c). Both litigation experience and specific experience with eviction advocacy is also required.  The ideal candidate will be motivated by the belief that access to information can narrow the justice gap for low-income individuals and will possess the skills essential to achieve that goal. Candidates should have strong legal research skills and the ability to write in plain language, as well as the ability to create print publications, web-based tools, and videos. 

This position is currently funded through April 2022 through a contract with Maine Housing based on the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program; funding may be available to continue this program going forward.   A copy of the full job description is available upon request.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest which details their experience and a current resume to Managing Attorney and position supervisor Erica Veazey (eveazey@ptla.org), with copies to Executive Director Nan Heald (nheald@ptla.org), Deputy Director Chet Randall (crandall@ptla.org),  and HR Director Olesya Shkut (oshkut@ptla.org). Applications are encouraged by May 17 but will be accepted until the position is filled.


Bangor General Legal Services Attorney

The Bangor office of Pine Tree Legal Assistance serves a three-county area (Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Waldo Counties). It has an immediate opening for a permanent general legal services attorney.

As a general litigator, the attorney should expect to be in court throughout the service area on a regular basis to provide representation in consumer, landlord/tenant, and benefits cases (including both health and income benefits) as well as provide administrative advocacy in a range of different civil needs. All staff attorneys at Pine Tree are also expected to handle cases that have been prioritized by program funders or which have emerged as critical needs within the local client community. 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.

While many cases are resolved in summary proceedings and can be completed with 5 – 10 hours of legal time, others present more complex issues and require more time. Regular travel throughout the service area should be expected, as well as to statewide trainings and meetings. In each field office, the attorney is also expected to provide supervision support for the work of the local office paralegal, both in the provision of limited legal assistance and in other work specific to the attorney’s caseload.

The attorney is also responsible for community engagement and networking to strengthen Pine Tree’s reputation and access to legal services by eligible individuals, consistent with other work and time commitments. Based on expertise and experience, these activities will include development of written client education materials, the provision of outreach and/or trainings to staff, community agencies and other groups that serve low-income individuals, and/or work on collaborations or other initiatives designed to address specific legal needs of low-income individuals. It can also involve recruitment, training and supervision of law student and undergraduate interns and volunteers in the office, as well as support of pro bono volunteers in the community. Specific decisions about how to prioritize between these time commitments are made in consultation with their attorney supervisor.

Applicants must be admitted to the practice of law in Maine or eligible to practice under MRCP 89(c). Previous litigation experience and the demonstrated capacity to handle a high-volume practice are also required. A copy of the full job description is available upon request.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest which details their experience and a current resume to Managing Attorney and position supervisor Erica Veazey (eveazey@ptla.org), with copies to Executive Director Nan Heald (nheald@ptla.org), Deputy Director Chet Randall (crandall@ptla.org), and HR Director Olesya Shkut (oshkut@ptla.org).

Applications are encouraged by June 14 but will be accepted until the position is filled.