Pine Tree legal assistance

Location: Bangor, Maine


About: Pine Tree Legal Assistance (PTLA) mission is to ensure that state and federal laws affecting poor people are upheld, while also addressing the systemic barriers to justice faced by Mainers with low incomes. To achieve our mission, we provide free civil legal assistance in cases where it can make a difference in one’s ability to meet one’s basic human needs or in enforcing one’s basic human rights, including access to housing, food, income, safety, education, and healthcare.

Fellowship Overview

PTLA seeks a full-time, 10-week legal technology Fellow to work on developing legal content on www.statesidelegal.org to incorporate new client resources related to veterans discharge and veteran medical/legal partnerships, and to improve the overall look and content organization of the website.

Fellows Duties

The Fellow will work closely with our technology team on StatesideLegal.org. The fellow will have the opportunity to work on a range of legal aid technology projects, including helping to implement the redesign of this national veterans' clearinghouse website.

The following are specific examples of ATJ Fellow duties:

  • Researching possible applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve site search and navigation on StatesideLegal.org;
  • Participating in the design implementation/site building and launch phases of a website redesign in Drupal 8, a popular open source legal aid website platform. This will include working with our technology team to test the new StatesideLegal.org as it is built, and to implement a design for a website that will meet the latest standards of user experience and accessibility; and
  • Working with the Drupal Triage Module, Web Form Builder, or other technology to create a national online screening tool to address veteran suicide.

This project will involve the translation of a paper screener into an interactive online tool. A Fellow will use branching logic and conditionals to build a screening tool that will have a complex back-end and a friendly and approachable user interface. In addition, the Fellow will also learn the broad array of skills needed to maintain and update a Drupal-based website. Day-to-day tasks for a Fellow would include:

  • monitoring and responding to user comments and questions
  • making updates to website content using HTML 5 and the Drupal 8 content manager interface
  • troubleshooting glitches and errors pre and post-launch for the redesign StatesideLegal website
  • updating and maintaining our existing triage and screening tools
  • posting news and relevant content on StatesideLegal.org.

Experience with Drupal and HTML 5 is not necessary, but an enthusiasm for technology, and a willingness to learn are essential. This Fellowship would be located in Pine Tree's Bangor office, where the supervising attorney, Jack Haycock, is based

Competencies Include

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Excellent legal research skills

  • Strong knowledge of web-based legal information and intake systems

  • Familiarity with the legal needs of low-income Mainers, and a strong commitment to working on veterans issues

  • Ability to work effectively with our clients and partner agencies

  • Strong independent work skills

  • Ability to work in a high-volume, fast-paced environment