Maine Justice Foundation Announces 2023 Coffin Family Law Fellow
Release Date: November 17, 2022
The Maine Justice Foundation is pleased to announce that University of Maine Law School Juris Doctor Candidate, Ashley E. Kuntz, has been selected as the 2023 Coffin Family Law Fellow.
The Frank M. Coffin Family Law Fellowship provides legal representation in family law matters to clients who have qualified for pro bono assistance through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Named after Frank M. Coffin, Senior Judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals, the project supports attorneys based in the Portland, Maine offices of Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Coffin Fellowship attorneys work for and are based at Pine Tree Legal Assistance’s Portland office for two years. To date, the Coffin Fellows have worked on a remarkable 1,956 cases on behalf of low-income individuals in Cumberland County who had no other legal aid resources available to them. Kuntz will be the 27th Coffin Fellow.
The Fellowship was launched in 1998 with the generous support of Portland area Law Firms. There are 20 participating firms in the program including Berman & Simmons, P.A., Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P.A., Cloutier, Conley & Duffett P.A., Curtis Thaxter LLC, Drummond Woodsum, Eaton Peabody, Gideon Asen LLC, Irwin & Morris, Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry, Marcus Clegg, McCloskey, Mina, Cunniff & Frawley, LLC, Murray Plumb & Murray, Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, LLC, Perkins Thompson, P.A., Pierce Atwood LLP, Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP, Roach Ruprecht Sanchez & Bischoff, PC, Robinson, Kriger & McCallum, Thompson Bowie & Hatch LLC and Verrill.
“For decades, the Coffin Fellowship has played a critical role ensuring access to justice for thousands of Mainers in need. A lasting and impactful legacy of one of Maine’s greatest legal and leadership luminaries, Judge Frank Coffin, the fellowship is also a testament to the generosity and commitment to helping those in need by the many leading Maine law firms who underwrite it annually. The Interview Committee was exceedingly impressed with Ms. Kuntz’s dedication to family law and access to justice and believe she will serve many Mainers in need and the legacy of the fellowship with distinction,” notes Michelle Draeger, Executive Director of the Maine Justice Foundation, and member of the Coffin Fellowship Hiring Committee. Other members of the Hiring Committee are Charlie Miller of Bernstein Shur, Gigi Sanchez of Roach Ruprecht Sanchez & Bischoff, Elizabeth Stout, Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project and Lucia Chomeau Hunt, Directing Attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Ms. Kuntz will begin her two-year fellowship in the fall of 2023.
The Maine Justice Foundation, founded in 1983 as the Maine Bar Foundation, is the state’s leading funder of civil legal aid and is committed to ensuring access to justice for all Mainers. Find us online at www.justicemaine.org.
FMI: Contact Michelle G. Draeger, Executive Director: (207) 620-1351, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Left to right) Current Coffin Fellows Jessica Mizzi and Maris Hubbard, Charles E. Miller, Coffin Fellowship Co-Chair, Lucia Chomeau Hunt, Directing Attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance and Michelle G. Draeger, Executive Director of the Maine Justice Foundation. Photo by: Linsey MacDougall, Maine Justice Foundation.