Rising 3L Zoe Psiakis Lands Summer Fellowship Providing Legal Assistance in Rural Maine
Rising 3L Zoe Psiakis was selected by Equal Justice Works for a highly competitive 2021 Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellowship. She is one of 35 law students nationally (out of 460 applicants) to be named a fellow.
Hosted by Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Psiakis will spend the summer working in rural Aroostook County, Maine, to provide legal services to low-income clients in the areas of consumer rights, housing, public benefits, and family law/victims’ rights. During the fellowship, Psiakis will engage in a combination of substantive legal work, research projects, community outreach, client meetings, and court proceedings.
Noting that she is “incredibly grateful” to have been selected, Psiakis said she was motivated to apply for the Rural Summer Legal Corps fellowship by her experience last summer working with low-income clients in rural Minnesota at Anishinabe Legal Services.
“I really appreciate the unique client relationships that form in rural settings and the innovative strategies that attorneys use to forge those relationships amidst transportation and communication difficulties,” she observed. “My experience last summer showed me that I want to spend my career addressing the access to justice crisis in rural environments and serving those populations going forward. I cannot wait to continue that work this summer!”
Although she has not previously been to Aroostook County, located in extreme northern Maine by the Canadian border, she loves Maine and aspires to live there one day. Working for Pine Tree Legal Services seemed like an ideal situation for the public-service-minded Psiakis.
“Primarily, I am hoping to assist Pine Tree’s clients this summer to the best of my ability,” she said. “Part of my position includes a rural outreach component, so I am hoping that I can foster a relationship between our office and a part of the state that has very limited access to legal services (because of lacking telecommunications infrastructure) to get more of those folks the help they need. I am also looking forward to learning from the staff attorneys (whom I will meet this week in person!), working in an entirely new legal system, and getting to know the people and culture of northern Maine during my time with Pine Tree this summer!”