Coping With A Pandemic: Pine Tree's Nan Heald

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Law360 (April 19, 2020, 8:02 PM EDT) --
Nan Heald
Nan Heald
With distancing and isolation the new norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community.

Today's perspective comes from Nan Heald, executive director at free civil legal aid provider Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Portland, Maine.

What challenges has the pandemic created in your specific area of work?

Pine Tree Legal Assistance is a statewide legal aid program. Unable to support walk-ins or do courthouse "pickups," our phone intake hours have expanded and are being widely publicized throughout the state.

Maine courts remain open for domestic violence cases and certain emergency proceedings; attorneys have expanded their traditional practice areas to accommodate pressing legal needs and to help with content updates on our popular websites: for Maine users and for military members, veterans and their families nationwide.

We’re also focused on supporting our staff who must work while juggling the needs of other household members (especially young children) and those who live alone and miss their daily interactions with colleagues.

How are you and your family adapting at home?

Living in rural Maine, we can walk outside and "forest bathe" as needed, without violating shelter-in-place guidelines.

What is the most creative or productive response to the crisis you've witnessed so far?

Two simple strategies to focus attention on work: (1) the Pomodoro Technique and (2) running some form of white noise on my computer to drown out other distractions.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization, its clients, or Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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