How to Qualify

How do I become a Katahdin Counsel?
To participate, lawyers must complete the service as specified below and complete and return the Court Verification Form created for the Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program.

How do I become a Katahdin Law Student?
To participate, law students or recent law school graduates must complete the pro bono legal service as specified below and complete and return the Law Student Verification Form. Law Student pro bono legal services must be supervised by a member of the Maine Bar, and must be completed in Maine. If a Law Student has pro bono hours spread out over a number of organizations and/or supervisors, the Law Student Verification Form will require a separate form signed by each supervisor. Law students may not include pro bono hours required for an intern or externship, or conducted for law school credit.

What counts as pro bono legal services?
The program tracks Maine Rule of Professional Responsibility 6.1(1) and (2). Qualifying legal services are those provided without fee or expectation of fee to (1) persons of limited means; or (2) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means.

Time spent on the following activities would qualify for recognition if it is provided without fee or without expectation of fee:

  • Limited or full representation of a person of limited means who seeks legal services on their own behalf from your office;
  • Limited or full representation of a person of limited means who is referred by a legal aid provider;
  • Limited or full representation of a person of limited means who is referred by a charitable, religious, civic, community, government or educational organization;
  • Limited or full representation of a person of limited means at the request of a Court or government official;
  • Service as a guardian ad litem appointed by the court in a legal proceeding for a family of limited means;
  • The provision of law-related training of persons of limited means at the request of the Court or a charitable, religious, civic, community, government or educational organization;
  • The provision of free training or mentoring to those who represent persons of limited means;
  • The provision of legal information and/or limited representation services to persons of limited means through a courthouse or administrative forms clinic organized by the Court or a charitable, religious, civic, community, government or educational organization;
  • The provision of legal information and/or limited representation services to persons of limited means over the telephone or via a computerized assistance program at the request of the Court or a charitable, religious, civic, community, government or educational organization;
  • The creation of law-related self-help tools or legal information resources for the primary benefit of persons of limited means at the request of the Court or a charitable, religious, civic, community, government or educational organization;
  • The provision of legislative lobbying or administrative rulemaking that primarily benefits persons of limited means and which is provided through a charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental or educational association

Is this on a calendar or fiscal year?
The reporting year runs from July 1 through June 30 of each year.

How and to whom do I report my hours?

Hours will be reported by completing the verification form and returning by email to katahdin@courts.maine.gov or by regular mail to the Access to Justice Coordinator at the Administrative Office of the Courts, PO Box 4820, Portland, Maine 04112. The form is due September 15 of each year. On the form, you will certify that you have completed the minimum fifty (50) qualifying hours.