PORTLAND — Nan Heald, executive director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, will participate in a White House event on justice this week.

Heald is one of 16 “Champions of Change” who will be recognized Thursday. The lawyers are being honored for their work to increase access to justice. Heald was nominated by Jim Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corporation. a Washington, D.C.-based provider of legal aid to the poor.

Heald was served as executive director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance since 1990. The organization provides free legal help to low-income Mainers.

The Obama administration invites a “Champions of Change” group to the White House each week to discuss their ideas on a wide range of topics.