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Disability Rights Center (DRC)
The Disability Rights Center (DRC) is Maine’s protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities. It is a non-profit agency independent of state and federal government.
DRC provides individuals with information about their rights and service systems, and represents individuals at meetings and hearings by providing legal services to individuals and groups. In addition, DRC works for systemic change and offers trainings on individual rights and developing advocacy skills. We also act as a referral service for individuals we are unable to directly assist.
Maine’s Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP)
The Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project is a non-profit legal aid organization that provides free legal information, assistance and representation to people of low income facing civil legal issues. VLP’s legal services are provided entirely by community and attorney volunteers supported and supervised by a small staff. Our mission is to make “justice for all” a reality in Maine by giving people the knowledge, tools and support to be equal participants in our justice system.
The VLP coordinates the volunteer efforts of Maine attorneys and community members to help people of low income navigate the civil justice system. They provide free information, brief assistance and pro bono legal representation in civil legal matters to qualifying clients. Their volunteers give Mainers in need the tools and know-how to be equal participants in our legal system.
VLP is a joint project of Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the Maine Bar Foundation.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance (PTLA)
Pine Tree Legal Assistance is a statewide, non-profit organization committed to providing high quality, free, civil legal assistance to low-income people in Maine. Their mission is to ensure that state and federal laws affecting poor people are enforced while also addressing the systemic barriers to justice that low-income Mainers face. They are committed to ensuring that all Mainers have access to justice.
Their services range from simple advice and brief service to negotiations and full representation in the most serious cases. To supplement their limited staff capacity, they also provide user-friendly explanations of the law and self-help tools, provide outreach and community education, and work with entities that serve low income people, including social service providers, members of the private bar and the courts.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance (PTLA)
KIDS Legal is a statewide project within Pine Tree Legal Assistance. They specialize in legal services addressing the needs of low-income Maine children. They provide direct representation, consultations and group trainings.
On their website you will find:
- Information about their KIDS project;
- Resources for kids, teens, young adults, parents, guardians and community providers in Maine; and
- Information about legal issues and rights of children and young people in Maine
American Bar Association (ABA)
Center on Children and the Law
The Center on Children and the Law, a group within the American Bar Association, works on projects that improve outcomes for youth in foster care and young people who have aged out of care. The Mission of the Center is to improve children’s lives through advances in law, justice, knowledge, practice and public policy.
The Center started in 1978 as a small legal resource center focusing exclusively on child abuse and neglect issues. From modest beginnings, the Center has grown into a full-service technical assistance, training, and research program addressing a broad spectrum of law and court-related topics affecting children.
Projects change as funding and priorities shift. Improving the lives of children and families remains at the core of all that the Center does.
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has championed the rights and dignity of people with mental disabilities since 1972. The Bazelon Center envisions an America where people with mental disabilities exercise their own life choices, enjoy equal opportunities, and have the services and supports necessary to live full lives in their communities. The Bazelon Center’s precedent-setting litigation has outlawed institutional abuse and won protections against arbitrary confinement. In the courts and in Congress, their advocacy has opened up public schools, workplaces, housing and other opportunities for community life.
Their work focuses on five priorities:
The Bazelon Center seeks to end our country’s needless reliance on institutional models of care for people with mental disabilities.
The Bazelon Center works to protect the autonomy of people with mental disabilities, including their right to vote and make choices about the care they receive.
Success for All Children
The Bazelon Center advocates for coordinated systems of care that enable children with mental disabilities to become successful adults, and for schools that empower all children to meet high academic standards.
Access to Services
The Bazelon Center advocates for robust systems of services to help people with mental disabilities live in their own homes and participate fully in their communities.
Access to Courts
The Bazelon Center works for fair and responsive courts by reporting on the credentials of judicial nominees and advocating for legal reforms that help people with mental disabilities get justice in court.