Posted June 08, 2007
Jamie Nadeau began volunteering for the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) during his first month of college and never looked back. Volunteer Lawyers Project coordinates the volunteer efforts of Maine attorneys and community members to help low-income people navigate the civil justice system. Student volunteers like Jamie interview clients about their cases, attend court observations, listen to legal presentations from affiliated attorneys, and do research on poverty and access to justice, which are the primary concerns of the project.
Jamie says the most important service VLP provides is a voice—a chance for poor individuals and families to address legal concerns that are sometimes devastating. “I understand the depth of this service each and every time I pick up the phone, especially when the person on the other line is overwhelmingly grateful just to talk to somebody about their problem,” Nadeau says. “It is the most rewarding kind of service; the help I am proving is immediate and concrete, and on top of it all I am developing my understanding of a field I might one day pursue.”
“It has demonstrated to me that there is real need for service in many areas, and although the need can at times be overwhelming and intimidating, there are people working every day to ensure that injustice does not go unnoticed.”