Indigenous Peoples Unit Attorney
Pine Tree Legal Assistance
Attorney – Indigenous Peoples Unit Attorney
Location: Bangor Office; Hybrid remote
Pine Tree Legal Assistance has an immediate opening for an attorney in our Indigenous Peoples Unit (IPU). This staff attorney will work collaboratively with other staff in the Indigenous Peoples Unit (IPU) to provide high-quality and holistic legal services that are responsive to the needs of Maine’s tribal communities. In addition to case work, the attorney is also responsible for community outreach, engagement and networking, to strengthen Pine Tree’s reputation and ensure the community’s access to legal services, consistent with other work and time commitments.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance has a unit dedicated to providing legal assistance to low-income individuals who identify as Indigenous People and, especially, to members of Maine’s four federally recognized tribes: the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Houlton Band of Maliseet and the Mi’kmaq Nation. In addition to serving tribal members in the Wabanaki communities and in Maine, Pine Tree Legal Assistance supports the legal needs of tribal members in Connecticut through outreach and client education materials.
This is primarily a litigation position, and the attorney will be in court or appearing in administrative proceedings on a regular basis. While many cases are resolved in summary proceedings and can be completed with 5 – 10 hours of legal time, others present more complex issues and require more time. The attorney will represent individuals and families facing legal problems related to their status as Indigenous People, including but not limited to cases involving:
• The Indian Child Welfare Act
• Racial discrimination
• Criminal cases in Tribal Courts
• Tribal housing, employment, benefits and services
• Tribal land usage and other rights arising under tribal law
• Wills and estate planning specific to reservation properties or Tribal Courts
• Family matters on behalf of Indigenous People
• Border crossing rights, treaty rights, and other rights arising under federal Indian Law
The attorney in this position will be to meet the need for coverage in the two Passamaquoddy Tribal Courts on criminal and child protective proceedings. The focus of this position will further expand into the Penobscot Nation Tribal Court and coverage of all areas handled by the unit. Regular travel throughout the service area should be expected, as well as to statewide trainings and meetings. The attorney is also expected to provide supervision support for the work of paralegals handling IPU cases. The attorney is expected to work a minimum of 37.5 hours per week and to bill a minimum of 60% of total work time to individual cases.
Based on expertise and experience, these activities will include development or updating of written client education materials, the provision of outreach and/or trainings to staff, community agencies and other groups that serve Indigenous People and work on collaborations or other initiatives designed to address specific legal needs of Indigenous People in Maine and Connecticut. It can also involve recruitment, training and supervision of law student and undergraduate interns and volunteers in the IPU, as well as support of pro bono volunteers in the community. Specific decisions about how to prioritize between these time commitments are developed in consultation with the IPU managing attorney.
The attorney must be admitted to the practice of law in Maine or be eligible to practice under MRCP 89 (c) while working at Pine Tree. For this position, the attorney must be admitted to, or eligible for admission to, the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Tribal Courts. Experience working with tribes and tribal populations, as well as previous litigation experience, is strongly preferred. Applicant must reside in, or be willing to relocate to, the state of Maine. This is an exempt position under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for PTLA attorneys and other exempt staff is currently $64,870 - $101,870, depending on experience.
In addition, PTLA is proud to offer the following:
Employer-paid health insurance with a generous HRA contribution, generous health insurance opt-out benefit, employer-paid dental insurance, employer-paid life and disability insurance, and an annual contribution to a 403(b) retirement plan. Other voluntary options include vision and expanded life insurance. Staff enjoy 12 paid holidays, paid parental leave, and generous vacation, floating holidays, and sick leave.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to employing and supporting individuals who are passionate about social justice and have relevant work experience, regardless of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental disability, religion, familial status or experience with poverty, receipt of public assistance, or homelessness.
See job posting.
To apply for this position: https://ptla.bamboohr.com/careers/42?source=aWQ9Mjc%3D