Haley Brazier ’24 receives 2024 Coffin Fellowship

Haley Brazier arrived at Maine Law with a lot of questions. As she enters her final semester of law school, she’s found a lot of answers, including how she plans to spend the next phase of her career.

Brazier is the recipient of the 2024 Frank M. Coffin Family Law Fellowship, administered by the Maine Justice Foundation. Coffin Fellows work on family law matters at the Portland offices of Pine Tree Legal Assistance for two years following graduation. The fellowship has been in existence for 23 years, and in that time, Coffin Fellows have worked on 2,117 cases on behalf of low-income Mainers.

Haley Brazier

Brazier was drawn to Maine Law because she wanted to do more for vulnerable populations in Maine and beyond. After graduating from the University of Vermont with degrees in French and Anthropology, Brazier moved to Portland to work with the city’s Office of Economic Opportunity. In her role as Engagement Coordinator, Brazier coordinated initiatives serving minority individuals and communities. While she loved the work, Brazier found she often ran up against limits either in her knowledge or scope of the position.

“In this role, I saw so many barriers that new Mainers face and I received so many legal questions I didn’t know how to answer,” Brazier said. “Going to law school and now this fellowship, it’s all a continuation of my interest in serving the public interest and my community. I can answer those questions now.”

Receiving this fellowship, Brazier continued, feels like a validation of that commitment and also the work she’s done throughout her law school career. Just this past semester, Brazier participated in an international cross-clinic pilot program in Mexico City that works to educate asylum seekers about legal processes in the U.S. This was as part of her role as student attorney for the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic. She also served on the Maine Association for Public Interest Law (MAPIL) committee and was part of If/When/How, the Lawyering for Reproductive Justice chapter at Maine Law.

“The Interview Committee was exceedingly impressed with Ms. Brazier’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,” said Michelle Draeger, Executive Director of the Maine Justice Foundation, and member of the Coffin Fellowship Hiring Committee.

Brazier, who interned with Pine Tree Legal’s Lewiston Offices in 2022, said the opportunity to work for the organization is fulfilling a professional dream.

“During my few months at Pine Tree I was in awe of how they balanced the incredible work they do, high-stakes stuff, with good attitudes, kindness, and grace,” she continued. “I knew I’d be lucky to be part of an organization like that.”