The Maine Association for Public Interest Law (MAPIL) is a student-run organization at the University of Maine School of Law. The association has three goals:

  1. to encourage student engagement in the many diverse volunteer legal opportunities during the school year and summer;
  2. to encourage students to pursue careers in public interest; and
  3. to promote the ethic of pro bono work.

MAPIL seeks to achieve these goals by hosting events at the law school throughout the school year to provide information to students about public interest opportunities. Events include lunchtime lectures by local attorneys working in areas of public interest as well as student panels, which allow students who have already gained experience in public interest, either over the summer or during the school year, to share their experiences.

The organization also hosts an auction each spring to raise money for MAPIL Fellowships, which are awarded to students who accept otherwise unpaid positions in areas of legal public service over the summer.

The MAPIL fellowships give Maine Law students an opportunity to work in public interest law positions that are otherwise unpaid. Students who are awarded MAPIL Fellowships work in areas of public interest law during the summer, helping low-income families, veterans, immigrants, and others in need of legal aid. Public interest law is the practice of law in areas that serve the general public, from nonprofit legal aid organizations to governmental agencies. In years past, MAPIL Fellowships have helped to fund summer positions for Maine Law students working for organizations in Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, D.C., and the African nations of Botswana and Uganda. The students who are awarded a MAPIL fellowship not only receive invaluable experiences, but also are actively giving back to the communities they are working in. MAPIL’s 35th Annual Auction raised over $20,000.

The 36th Annual MAPIL Auction will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 300 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101