PTLA Volunteer Expectations

Pine Tree Legal Assistance (PTLA) volunteers play an important role in creating and sustaining an environment that is respectful of others, committed to excellence, and attentive to the highest ethical standards. 

Please review and adhere to the volunteer expectations outlined below. Doing so will help ensure that volunteer actions are consistent with PTLA values and prioritize the safety and well-being of PTLA  clients and community members.


  1. Listen to clients with respect. Take time to understand clients’ concerns and goals.
  2. Communicate with clients in plain language about their legal rights and options.
  3. Give clients as many options as possible to communicate with you (e.g., by phone, text, email, mail, in-person). Many clients may not have consistent access to a phone, internet, or transportation.
  4. Preserve client confidentiality, including through any action or inaction that could disclose personal details of a client’s case or facts from which a client’s identity could be determined. The obligation to preserve confidential information continues even after volunteer service with PTLA ends.
  5. Refrain from engaging in harassing or discriminatory conduct against clients, staff, volunteers, opposing counsel, opposing parties, or other individuals in the course of representation. Such behavior will immediately result in PTLA discontinuing case referrals to the volunteer.
  6. Comply with all applicable laws including ethical and professional obligations pursuant to the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct and the Maine Bar Rules.
  7. Review and observe PTLA core values, including respect, optimism, impact, professionalism, monitoring for results, ownership, and sustainability.
  8. Respond to PTLA requests for case information and updates in a timely manner.
  9. Case referrals to volunteers are within PTLA’s sole discretion. PTLA may cease making referrals to a volunteer at any time for any reason. 
  10. Please reach out to the PTLA pro bono team for assistance with client communication or any other issues that may arise in your pro bono case. The pro bono team is here to support you!