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The mission of the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project is to increase access to justice in Maine through volunteer engagement. To achieve this end, the VLP acts as a nexus, connecting pro bono attorneys and individuals with civil legal issues who cannot afford attorneys. Volunteers are involved in every stage - from intake to strategic planning.
In 1983, Pine Tree Legal Assistance (PTLA) partnered with the Maine Justice Foundation to create a project dedicated to engaging volunteers in providing civil legal aid.
Housed within PTLA for 35 years, the VLP became a seperate non-profit organisation with its own board in 2017. The VLP has a small staff that recruits, trains, manages, and supports volunteers. In most VLP cases, the legal assistance is provided by pro bono attorney volunteers.
Student and community volunteers conduct intake interviews, provide legal information, organize clinics, and help develp new service projects