Serving Those Who Served:
Understanding the Legal Needs of Maine's Veteran Community
Written by Pine Tree Legal Assistance staff and an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, this is a detailed report on the legal needs of Maine’s veterans – the first report of its kind in Maine. The report finds that :
- Most Maine veterans surveyed indicated they experienced a legal problem in the past 12 months;
- Veterans are unlikely to contact legal services themselves; &
- Social service providers self-reported that they have a limited understanding of most legal issues.
As the state with the third highest population of veterans per capita, Maine must think creatively about how it can best support those who have served in the country’s armed forces. Many veterans face homelessness, poverty, unstable family lives, education challenges, and job problems after they return from deployment. Developing the most effective response to these issues will require social service providers to fully understand the current met and unmet legal needs of the veteran population. Legal aid is an essential partner in addressing those issues.
Contact information, methodology, and materials are included for advocates wishing to assess the legal needs of veterans in their state.