The Maine State Bar Association promotes the honor, dignity and professionalism of lawyers, advances the knowledge, skills and interests of its members, and supports the public interest in a fair and effective system of justice.
For the Public Good
The concept of helping those in need has long been an essential part of being a lawyer in Maine. It is captured in the Latin phrase pro bono publico, "for the good of the public," and is built on a simple premise: equal access to justice for all. Pro bono service makes legal representation and recourse available to people who are unable to pay for legal services. The Maine State Bar Association and its philanthropic arm, the Maine Bar Foundation, create opportunities for Maine lawyers to volunteer pro bono work, and instill in its members a sense of responsibility to the legal profession and to the people living in Maine communities. Traditionally, Maine lawyers have ranked at the top of the nation in donating legal services to people unable to afford them.
Maine Justice Foundation
Established by the Maine State Bar Association in 1983, the Maine Justice Foundation (formerly known as the Maine Bar Foundation) is Maine's only statewide nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted exclusively to law-related charitable work. As the Maine bar's philanthropic arm, it is one of nearly 200 such organizations in the United States and Canada established to increase access to justice for indigent and vulnerable populations, and to support, encourage, and implement the legal profession's commitment to law-related public service. The Foundation also supports programs designed to improve the quality and scope of legal education in law schools, scholarly research on law-related subjects, programs of law reform, and law libraries. It serves the legal profession and Maine's communities through its proactive administration of the Interest On Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program and other public service law-related activities. For more information, please visit www.mbf.org.