Road race to help Maine Law’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic
April 2, 2013
PORTLAND, Maine – The sneakers will hit the pavement for a good cause on Sunday, April 7, as the Maine Law Student Bar Association hosts the 34th annual Maine Law road race.
The Race Judicata is a 5K race/walk along Portland’s scenic Back Cove Trail. Proceeds help support the law school’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. At the Clinic, third-year law students provide legal services to low-income clients. The student attorneys are specially licensed by the state and federal courts, and they work under the close supervision of Maine Law professors.
The Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, established in 1970, is one of the oldest clinics of its kind in the nation. The Clinic is a defining program of Maine Law, providing practical skills training for students, and helping fulfill the school’s long-standing commitment to social justice.
The Clinic is one of six nonprofit legal aid providers in Maine that have struggled in recent years to meet the needs of the state’s poor and elderly residents. Those needs range from assistance in foreclosure actions to child custody cases. A 2009 study showed that the legal services providers were only able to meet the needs of roughly one in four people who asked for assistance, due to limited staff and financial resources.
Prof. Deirdre Smith, director of the Clinic, said the operation depends on funding from numerous sources, and provides legal help to more than 650 Mainers each year.
“This event is a great way for the Maine Law community to show their support for the Clinic while enjoying a scenic run or walk around the Back Cove. We’re very appreciative of Chris Harmon, the Student Bar Association, and the other race organizers for choosing the Clinic as the beneficiary of the event,” Smith said.
Read additional information on Maine Law's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic.