Nan Heald has been the Executive Director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance since 1990. Through the creative use of funding opportunities and other leveraged support, her leadership has enabled Pine Tree to strengthen and expand legal services to diverse client populations and in new areas of law, and to make justice more accessible for all the people of Maine. She has encouraged the innovative use of technology to expand access to legal information and self-help tools, an effort which began in 1996 with creation of www.ptla.org, as the first legal aid website in the country to include self-help resources. Other programs created during her tenure at Pine Tree include the formation of Maine’s first and only children’s law project, expanded support to self-represented family law litigants and victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, and new legal representation projects addressing foreclosure, housing discrimination, and the needs of low-income taxpayers and veteran and military families.
Nan currently serves on the national Legal Services Corporation Task Force on Pro Bono, the Maine Judicial Branch’s Advisory Committee on Fees, and the Advisory Committee of Providers to Maine's Justice Action Group. Nan was recognized as one of the inaugural Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2005) and selected as a MaineBiz “Woman to Watch” in 2010. She has also been honored for her work by the Maine Veterans Coordinating Committee, the Maine Judicial Branch, and the Maine Civil Liberties Union. Nan grew up in Oquossoc in the western mountains of Maine, graduating from Smith College in 1977 and George Washington University Law School in 1980.