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Each year, 0ur dedicated volunteers donate thousands of hours to help our clients access legal services.

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Attorneys, tax professionals, student interns, and community volunteers are a crucial part of Pine Tree’s efforts to expand access to justice to diverse communities statewide.  


Did you know…?

  • Pine Tree volunteers helped clients in more than 180 cases in 2021!
  • Volunteers donated over 8,000 hours to support direct legal services to clients through Pine Tree’s pro bono program last year. 
  • Volunteer attorneys represented tenants in nearly 50 full representation eviction cases in 2021. 
  • Pine Tree has many enthusiastic volunteers who accept cases in their own areas of expertise, or work alongside Pine Tree staff to accept cases in Pine Tree’s areas of expertise.
  • Pine Tree provides training and mentorship for volunteers to learn new areas of law and gain courtroom experience. 
  • You can make a difference! Visit to join us. 

Pine Tree Celebrates Christopher Bond,

Recipient of our 2021 Pro Bono Award!

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Attorney Christopher Bond is the recipient of Pine Tree’s 2021 Award for Pro Bono Service, to be presented at the MSBA Summer Bar Conference in June. Chris has been an amazingly dedicated attorney with our Eviction Defense Project since 2019. A Coast Guard veteran who went on to be a CPA and a college professor, and is semi-retired from a career in tax law, Chris was looking for a community service opportunity. Happily for us, he took seriously the suggestion of his daughter, former ACLU of Maine Legal Director Emma Bond, that he should help Pine Tree with eviction cases.

Chris has defended low-income tenants from eviction both by appearing as “lawyer of the day” at eviction court dockets and accepting cases for extended representation. Chris has enthusiastically honed his skills in this area of the law, often taking on particularly challenging, complex and time-consuming cases, all while showing the utmost respect, support and sensitivity to clients facing multiple challenges. In 2021, Chris contributed over 160 hours to help individuals and families remain in their homes through the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and the acute shortage of affordable housing in Maine. He has helped tenants secure reasonable accommodations, maintain tenancies in subsidized housing, and obtain discovery in eviction cases. The latter result is particularly striking; although Pine Tree staff attorneys have conducted discovery in eviction cases, Chris’ determined efforts led to a first-time, detailed written court decision that we can rely on in future cases. 

Hoping to encourage other attorneys to volunteer with Pine Tree, Chris notes that,

“The big opportunity with Pine Tree is that you will join this amazing association of incredible professionals with intense dedication, energy and experience. So if [as a volunteer], you’re not sure what to do, there’s someone there to help you. You never have to fly solo!”

Chris and his wife Deb Dawson, an accomplished photographer, can be found sailing and exploring the coast of Maine in the summertime.  Chris’ good humor and collegiality make him a delight to work with, while his unwavering advocacy for clients led one to describe him as “just fabulous….I don’t think anyone has fought for me as hard.” Chris has achieved outstanding results for clients as a Pine Tree volunteer. We are honored to work alongside him and we thank him for his invaluable contributions to the Pine Tree community.  

Attorney Jim McKenna: 

The Incredible Impact of an In-House Pro Bono Attorney

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Pine Tree could not be more grateful for Jim McKenna’s long-time volunteer presence here. After retiring in 2013 from a distinguished career in the Consumer Protection Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office, Jim took on a second career as an in-house volunteer attorney with Pine Tree. Jim is based in our Augusta office, and works nearly every morning, logging over 500 volunteer hours in 2021 alone. 

Jim is our go-to resident expert on consumer fraud in used car sales, a common legal problem for Pine Tree clients. He has represented scores of clients to gain redress of unfair and illegal practices by dealers, and has advised many others  He is particularly interested in the improvident granting of credit in used car sales, and has often succeeded in cancelling contracts and obtaining a return of clients’ funds.  He has also offered training on auto fraud issues to Pine Tree staff and to other private attorneys interested in doing pro bono work with Pine Tree. 

Jim and his wife Jane Orbeton (also an attorney) live in Hallowell and Jim often rides his bike to our Augusta office. When not championing low-income consumers (he currently has a caseload of 14 cases!), he enjoys traveling and spending time with his three grandchildren. He has also published two books of poetry, The Common Law (2012, Moon Pie Press) and One Day in One Town (2019, Moon Pie Press). Pine Tree and our clients are truly fortunate to work with a volunteer so dedicated to promoting fair consumer practices and challenging the financial exploitation of low-income Mainers.  

Law Student Intern Erika Allen: Helping Make Justice a Reality for Survivors of Domestic Violence 

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"I love being able to help folks that would otherwise not have access to legal help. I come from a working class family and it's really important for me to use my legal career to help folks the way I would want members of my family to be helped. I'm so excited to put the experience I gained from Pine Tree into action! I'm going into family law once school is over and Pine Tree has absolutely helped to lay the foundation I need to give top notch legal service.”

We are incredibly grateful to all of our interns, fellows and volunteers, for their dedication to Pine Tree’s mission and services.

To learn more and sign up to volunteer, visit today!

We are always looking for new attorney volunteers to join our Eviction Defense Project, and signing up for our next CLE training on eviction law on

Thursday, May 26, 2002 is a great place to start!  

Click here for more information!  

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Trivia Night at Rising Tide Brewery

In honor of law day, Pine Tree hosted our first in person event since the pandemic hit. We hosted Trivia Night at Rising Tide Brewing Co. in Portland and had a great turn out!

There were happy people. Delicious snacks. Tasty beverages. Comedy hosts and laughter. A lot of it! 

 It was made clear that many of our supporters were #smarterthanalawyer!

As always, we thank you for your support and look forward to gathering again in the future!

If you are a lawyer consider supporting all legal aid providers through the

Campaign for Justice!

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At Pine Tree Legal Assistance, we believe strongly in collaborating with organizations whose missions are interconnected with ours and supporting them to ensure they are also strong. This month, we are illuminating the great work being done by the Volunteer Lawyers Project.   


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. 


Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project
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Muskie Access to Justice Award Ceremony

June 22, 2022

4pm – 7pm

North 43 Bistro, Spring Point Marina, South Portland, Maine

This event is expected to sell out quickly. Please don't delay in getting your tickets today!

Tickets sales open on 5/18/2022

Host Committee tickets and Sponsorship opportunities available!

Please contact with any questions.

Purchase Tickets 


Help empower others by sharing resources from our website

Instagram and


Join us every Tuesday and help spread the word about our new weekly Eviction Information Sessions


Join our community of attorneys and advocates working to increase access to justice for low-income Mainers!

Learn more about volunteer opportunities.


Your generous gifts make our work possible.

Consider making a donation to Pine Tree.

Members of the Maine Bar should instead donate to the

Campaign for Justice.

We're on Instagram!

Follow us @PineTreeLegal to stay updated on our work, learn more about our mission, and join us in the fight for #JusticeForAll.

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Copyright © 2021, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, All rights reserved.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance is a non-profit, is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated on June 14, 1966. Our tax ID number is 01-02 79387. Pine Tree Legal Assistance is funded in part by the Legal Services Corporation (“LSC”). As a condition of the funding received from LSC, Pine Tree Legal Assistance is restricted in certain activities in all of its legal work, including work supported by other funding sources. Pine Tree Legal Assistance may not expend any funds for any activity prohibited by the Legal Services Corporation Act, 42 U.S.C §2996 et. seq. or by Public Law 104-134. Public Law 104—234 §504(d) required that notice of these restrictions be given to all funders or programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation. For a copy of these laws or any further information, please contact: Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, PO Box 547, Portland, Maine 04112; Tel. 207-774-4753.