Pro Bono News
Civil legal aid programs extend ‘justice for all’ to Maine’s most vulnerable (ME)
Monday, June 05, 2017
- Press Herald
Civil legal aid programs extend ‘justice for all’ to Maine’s most vulnerable
Pine Tree Legal Assistance is such a lifeline, but its federal funding source is imperiled by budget cuts.
"We’ve all heard the phrase “If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you,” but many people don’t realize that isn’t true in civil cases, even when very important issues are at stake. And our legal system is too complex for most people to navigate on their own. In 1883, all of our state laws fit into a single volume; today, they span 55 volumes and seven paper supplements.
The people needing free legal help include people with disabilities who cannot work, people supporting a family on minimum-wage jobs, single parents and couples, elderly Mainers and homeless youths, veterans, tribal members, agricultural workers, recent immigrants and the descendants of immigrants who arrived in Maine 200 years ago. They represent a wide variety of political beliefs, religious backgrounds and sports team affiliations. They all have one thing in common: They have been confronted with a legal problem that threatens them or their family, and they cannot solve it on their own. They need someone to fulfill the promise of “justice for all.”"