University of Maine School of Law

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University of Maine School of Law
University of Maine School of Law seal.png
Parent schoolUniversity of Maine System
Established1962; 61 years ago (1962)
School typePublic law school
DeanLeigh Saufley
LocationPortland, Maine, United States
USNWR ranking114th (2023)[1]
Bar pass rate91%
University of Maine School of Law logo.png

The University of Maine School of Law (UMaine Law or Maine Law) is a public law school in Portland, Maine. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is Maine's only law school. It is also part of the University of Maine System. The school's current dean is Leigh Saufley, who assumed the post in 2020. Until 1972 the School of Law was located at 68 High Street, Portland. In 1972, the School of Law moved to the University of Maine School of Law Building, which is adjacent to the University of Southern Maine's Portland campus. In 2023, the Law School moved to 300 Fore Street, on the waterfront of downtown Portland.

Many of Maine's judges, legal scholars, politicians, and community leaders are graduates of the law school. Notable alumni include Chief Justices of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Valerie Stanfill, Leigh Saufley, Daniel Wathen, and current governor Janet Mills, several former governors, former Maine Senate President Libby Mitchell, and U.S. District Court Judges John A. Woodcock and Lance E. Walker, to name just a few. According to Maine's official 2017 ABA-required disclosures, 62.7% of the Class of 2017 obtained full-time, long-term, Bar Passage Required/JD Advantage employment ten months after graduation.[2]


The University of Maine School of Law was established in 1962 and is a public institution. The campus is in an urban area in Portland. The Law School’s primary mission is to educate students to serve the public and private sectors with distinction; to contribute to the advancement of the law through scholarly and professional research and writing; and to engage in public services aimed at improving the legal system. Students have access to federal, state, county, city, and local agencies, courts, correctional facilities, law firms, and legal aid organizations in the Portland area. Portland is the major urban and legal center in the state. Facilities of special interest to law students are the Cumberland County Superior Court, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, and the Federal District Court.


Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; the maximum number of credits varies and must be approved. Maine Law offers two dual degree options with the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine: Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health (J.D./M.P.H.)[3] and Juris Doctor and Master of Policy, Planning and Management (J.D/M.P.P.M).[4] Students may also earn a dual J.D./Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree, with the University of Maine School of Business. In addition, the Law School also offers LL.M. and J.S.D. programs.

Maine Law emphasizes hands-on training and offers an integrated clinical education program to students, including civil practice and criminal defense under the auspices of the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. This clinic includes the General Practice Clinic, Prisoner Assistance Clinic (civil matters), Youth Justice Clinic, and the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic.[5]

Students can also gain academic credit for work at many nonprofit and government agencies through an extensive externship program.[6] Seminars in commercial law, consumer law, constitutional law, intellectual property law, and international law are open to second, third-year, and LL.M students.

Maine Law has emerged as a leader in the field of Information Privacy Law, and students can earn a Certificate in Information Privacy Law.[7] The Law School’s Center for Law & Innovation hosts an annual Information Privacy Summer Institute, with a series of well-attended summer courses on critical and current information privacy issues.[8]

In 2020, Maine Law began offering a Certificate in Environmental and Oceans Law. [9]

The Law School is also the home of the Center for Oceans and Coastal Law, a teaching and interdisciplinary research center devoted to law and policy of the oceans.[10]

The Judge Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service[11] is held annually, along with the Justice for Women Lecture Series[12] and other lectures and similar events.  The Student Bar Association and other student organizations also offer guest lectures.

Maine Law has exchange programs with universities in several other countries, which enable students to experience a semester abroad, during which they gain an international perspective and develop a foundation in international law. The Law School currently offers international exchanges with Cergy-Pontoise University (France), City University of Hong Kong (China),  National University of Ireland (Galway), Reykjavik University School of Law (Iceland), Tsinghua University School of Law (Beijing, China), Universite du Maine (Le Mans, France), University of New Brunswick (Canada), and University of Rennes 1 (France).[13]

Maine Law also offers a domestic exchange program with Howard University School of Law. A semester at Howard Law School gives students an opportunity to pursue specialized courses, such as further study in intellectual property law, while making connections with Maine Law alumni in the Washington D.C. area.


The school is home to the Maine Law Review and the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal.

Rankings, admission and employment statistics[edit]

During Spring 2018, U.S. News in its 2019 Best Graduate Schools publication ranked the University of Maine School of Law 106th on its list of Best Law Schools.[14]

The Law School’s student body is small—one of the smallest in the country—with an average of 80-90 students per entering class. There were 604 applicants for the class of 2020, of whom 325 (53.8%) were admitted, approximately two-thirds of them coming from Maine. The median LSAT score was 153, and the average GPA was 3.42.[15] Over half (53.6%) of the students in the entering class were women; 15.5% were members of a racial minority group.[16]

According to statistics published by the Law School Admissions Council, Maine Law currently has a student/faculty ratio of roughly 12:1.[17]

Maine Law's official ABA-required Employment Summary for 2017 Graduates shows that 62.7% of that class obtained full-time, long-term, Bar Passage Required/J.D. Advantage employment ten months after graduation.[18] Maine Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score for the Class of 2017 is 26.5%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2017 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[19]


Tuition and fees Maine Law for the 2022-2023 academic year was $23,190 for residents and $34,710 for non-residents.[20] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $136,087 for residents and $175,673 for nonresidents.[21]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class Notability Reference
John Buckley (Connecticut) 1907 United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut from 1924-1933
Frank Fellows (politician) 1911 U.S. Representative from Maine, 1941-1951
Charles Bayley Adams 1913 Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court, 1949-1961
John P. Connarn 1951 Vermont Attorney General, 1965-1967 [22]
Kenneth M. Curtis 1959 68th Governor of Maine 1967-1975 [23]
Joseph E. Brennan 1963 70th Governor of Maine 1979-1987 [24]
Daniel Wathen 1965 Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 1992-2001 [25]
Thomas E. Delahanty II 1970 United States Attorney for the District of Maine, 2010–present
Joseph Jabar 1971 Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 2009–present [26]
Gary Thorne 1973 Announcer for ESPN and ABC [27]
John R. McKernan, Jr. 1974 71st Governor of Maine 1987-1995
James Tierney (politician) 1974 51st Maine Attorney General 1981-1991, Professor at Columbia Law School 1991–present
John A. Woodcock Jr. 1976 Chief Justice of the United States District Court for the District of Maine, 2009–present
Paula D. Silsby 1976 United States Attorney for the District of Maine, 2001-2010
Janet T. Mills 1976 55th and 57th Maine Attorney General, 2009-2011; 2013–2018, 75th Governor of Maine 2019–present
Leigh Saufley 1980 First Female Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 2001–2020
Robert Murray (Maine politician) 1985 Maine State Senator, 1996-2000
Valerie Stanfill 1985 Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, 2021– [28]
Nancy A. Henry 1986 American Poet
G. Steven Rowe 1987 54th Maine Attorney General, 2001-2009
David Lemoine 1988 State Treasurer of Maine, 2005-2010
Julia Spencer-Fleming 1990 American novelist of Mystery fiction [29]
Mark Lawrence (politician) 1990 President of the Maine Senate, 1997-2000 [30]
Dana Hanley 1990 Member of the Maine Senate, 1992-1996 [31]
Steve Abbott (politician) 1991 Athletic director at the University of Maine, 2010–present
William Schneider (politician) 1993 56th Maine Attorney General
Kenneth Fredette 1994 Minority Leader of the Maine House of Representatives, 2012–present
Libby Mitchell 2004 President of the Maine Senate, 2008-2010 [32]
Seth Goodall 2005 Maine State Senator from the 19th District, 2008-2013
Jeremy Fischer 2008 Maine State Representative, 2000-2006


Order Name Position(s) Term Began Term Ended Alumnus/na? Reference
1 Edward S. Godfrey III Dean, Professor Emeritus 1962 1973 no [33][34]
2 Bert S. Prunty Dean 1973 1978 no [35]
3 L. Kinvin Wroth Dean 1978 1990 no [35]
4 Donald Zillman Dean 1992 1998 no [35]
5 Colleen Khoury Dean 1998 2005 no [35]
6 Peter Pitegoff Dean 2005 2015 no [36][37]
7 Danielle Conway Dean 2015 2019 no [38]
8 Dmitry Bam Interim Dean 2019 2020 no [39]
9 Leigh Saufley Dean 2020 active yes [40]


  1. ^ "University of Maine". U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Schools. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  2. ^ "EMPLOYMENT SUMMARY FOR 2016 GRADUATES" (PDF). Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  3. ^ "J.D./M.P.H Dual Degree Program".
  4. ^ "J.D./M.P.P.M. Dual Degree Program".
  5. ^ "Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic".
  6. ^ "Externships".
  7. ^ "Certificate in Information Privacy".
  8. ^ "Center for Law and Innovation".
  9. ^ "Compliance Certificate".
  10. ^ "Center for Ocean and Coastal Law".
  11. ^ "Judge Frank M. Coffin Lecture".
  12. ^ "Justice For Women Lecture".
  13. ^ "Exchange Programs".
  14. ^ [1] Archived 2014-03-30 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ " Detail Information".
  16. ^ "Standard 509 Disclosure" (PDF).
  17. ^ "LSAC The Official Guide to Detail School Information".
  18. ^ [2] ABA Employment Summary Reports 2017, 2016, 2015
  19. ^ [3] Law School Transparency
  20. ^ "Tuition and Expenses".
  21. ^ "Cardozo-Yeshiva University Profile".
  22. ^ Doyle, William (2003). "Joint Senate Resolution 130". Montpelier, VT: Vermont State Senate.
  23. ^ "Curtis, Kenneth M." 24 April 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Brennan, Joseph E." 25 April 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  25. ^ [4] Archived 2013-08-06 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Joseph Jabar - Judgepedia". Archived from the original on 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  27. ^ "Gary Thorne - ESPN MediaZone U.S." Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Governor Mills Nominates Justice Valerie Stanfill as Chief Justice of Maine Supreme Judicial Court" (Press release). Office of Governor Janet T. Mills. May 10, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  29. ^ "Julia Spencer-Fleming - Maine author of religious mystery novels". Archived from the original on 23 March 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Mark Lawrence: Maine ME New Hampshire NH Lawyer Attorney Law Firm Law Offices". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Lawyer Dana Hanley - South Paris, ME Attorney - Avvo". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Profile of gubernatorial candidate Libby Mitchell - Lewiston Sun Journal". 9 August 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  33. ^ Michael J. Bresnick University of Maine School of Law, The University of Maine School of Law: An Archival History of Its Founding and Accreditation, 47 Me. L. Rev. 323 (1995).[5]
  34. ^ University of Maine School of Law, Dedication to Dean Godfrey, 47 Me. L. Rev. 263 (1995). [6]
  35. ^ a b c d "Continuing Legal Education". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  36. ^ "New dean hails UMaine Law School". Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  37. ^ Sharon, Susan (January 16, 2015). "New UMaine Law School Head Outlines Priorities". Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  38. ^ Sloan, Karen (16 January 2015). "Maine Law Finds Its Next Dean in Hawaii". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  39. ^ "Dmitry Bam selected as interim dean of the University of Maine School of Law". University of Maine School of Law. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  40. ^ "Leigh Ingalls Saufley, Chief Justice of Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Named Dean of the University of Maine School of Law". News. 2020-04-15. Retrieved 2020-04-21.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°39′40″N 70°16′44″W / 43.6611°N 70.2789°W / 43.6611; -70.2789