Student Profiles

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Sara Murphy

 

Name: Sara Murphy
Year: Class of 2014
Hometown
: Born in Erie, Pa., moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., in high school
Undergrad: University of Southern California

When Sara Murphy and her partner, Peter, drove across the country in 2009, with two kids in car seats and a Big Wheel tricycle strapped to the roof of their Subaru, Los Angeles lost a talented actor. Portland, Maine, gained a talented law student.

It’s not that Sara didn’t love acting anymore. She always has. Through the BFA program at USC, she made connections with independent filmmakers and reputable equity theater companies. The work, however, was inconsistent, and the pay was meager. Sara worked about 18 weeks of the year doing what she loved, and 34 weeks waiting tables. As Sara puts it, “Cue law school.”

 “I’ve done some seriously ridiculous things in auditions before,” she says. “Everything from standing there silently, doing absolutely nothing while holding a soda can, to screaming at the top of my lungs because I had to pretend I had just seen a werewolf, to reciting Shakespeare while doing cartwheels.”

 She and her partner wanted to raise their kids close to family in New England, and they found jobs in Portland. Sara worked as an actor for Portland Stage while studying for the LSAT. Sara has excelled at Maine Law. After her 1L year she was a Bernstein Fellow in the Portland District Court for the Hon. Keith A. Powers (Maine Law ’73).Then, as a rising 3L in the summer of 2013, she was selected for the coveted Charles Harvey Trial Immersion Fellowship, as well as a summer position at Pierce Atwood.

 After graduating, Sara will clerk for the Hon. Leigh I. Saufley (Maine Law ’80), Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Kasey Boucher

 

Name: Kasey Boucher
Year: Class of 2016
Hometown: Lewiston, Maine
Undergrad
: Boston University
Major: B.S. in Business Administration; dual concentration in finance and law

What did you do prior to coming to the University of Maine School of Law?

Last year, I worked for State Street as a portfolio accountant and played women’s professional hockey for the Boston Blades.

 You have been a standout ice hockey player. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an athlete, beginning with high school? Do you still play?

I definitely had a different high school experience than most people. I went to North American Hockey Academy (NAHA) in Stowe, Vermont, which was only during the hockey season. The classes were one-on-one tutoring and were based on the classes that I was enrolled in back at Lewiston High School. Going to NAHA opened up the opportunity for me to reach personal dreams, including playing hockey in college for Boston University.

 I also received the opportunity to play for the U-18 Team USA national team in 2008, with whom I won a gold medal at the IIHF world championships. I also was fortunate enough to represent the country at both the U-22 and senior team levels for various international tournaments. Last year I played for the Boston Blades, which is the only American team in the Canadian women’s hockey league. I am extremely grateful for the experience I had with hockey, and it has had a huge impact on the person I am today. Unfortunately, I have not been playing this year, but I would like to start again soon at a much less competitive level so I can just play for fun.

 Why did you choose to attend Maine Law?

It definitely helped that Maine Law was close to home, but that was not the only factor in my decision. All the feedback I heard about the school was great. The small size also definitely helped. Although I loved how big Boston University is, law school is a greater step toward my career. I really liked the idea of having a small school where I could form personal relationships with the professors and a large percentage of the student body, rather than just being another number in a larger school. 

 What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law Student?

It was actually a lot easier of an adjustment than I was expecting. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but it is certainly manageable. I think the availability and approachability of staff and other students has been an enormous help for me.

 When you are not at school, how do you like to spend your time?

I am certainly a coffee addict, so I often do my school work either at a coffee shop or next to my coffee pot at home. When I’m not doing work, even though Portland is not huge in size, there are so many options for anyone. The entire city has a warm and friendly vibe. The drive from my hometown is less than an hour, and I still am consistently learning about new restaurants or places to go.

If you could tell a prospective student one thing about Maine Law, what would it be?

When I was a prospective student, I knew Maine Law had a reputation of being a great school, but I didn’t realize how great it was until classes began. The faculty and students are always willing to help one another. All of my professors are approachable and truly want their students to succeed. Lastly, the camaraderie among the small group of students really makes a great learning environment for everyone.

Ari Solotoff

 

Name: Ari Solotoff
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Great Neck, N.Y.
Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley

Ten years ago, when Ari Solotoff started out his career in orchestra management, he developed a Sunday evening routine, mapping out the week ahead by reviewing a list of goals. This level of planning helped him become a top executive with The Philadelphia Orchestra, an internationally acclaimed ensemble with more than 100 musicians, a staff of 55 and hundreds of volunteers. And it’s the same approach Ari has used as a student at Maine Law.

The son of public school music teachers, Ari began playing the piano at age five, and the oboe at age 10. Ari worked as an executive for orchestras in Pensacola, Florida and Louisville, Kentucky. He also served from 2006-2010 as the Executive Director of Maine’s own Portland Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Ari joined the management team of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and he helped the orchestra successfully reorganize through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Ari was impressed by the skill, creativity and dedication of the lawyers with whom he worked.

“They embodied qualities that I have always strived for in my own work, and they inspired me to consider a career in law,” Ari says. “Once I made the decision, it was clear to me that Portland was the best place to start our family and to leverage my previous experiences in orchestra management into law practice.”

 Ari has been a judicial intern for Justice Jon D. Levy of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and also serves as a teaching assistant for Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law. He will join Bernstein Shur in 2014 as a summer associate.

Isabel Mullin

 

 

Name: Isabel Mullin
Class of 2016

Hometown: Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Undergrad: Denison University, Granville, Ohio
Majors/Minors: Major in economics; Minor in political science

What did you do prior to coming to the University of Maine School of Law?

I attended Denison University from 2006 through 2010. During my undergraduate years I had the opportunity to intern in Congresswoman Pingree’s office in Portland, Maine, for a summer. I also lived in Santa Elena, Venezuela for a summer volunteering with an organization that provided therapeutic horseback riding lessons.

 

Following graduation, I began working as a financial representative with Fidelity Investments.  I worked at Fidelity for just under two years.  I eventually realized I did not want a career in the finance industry, and I moved back to Maine where I resumed work in Congresswoman Pingree’s congressional office as a Staff Assistant and as the Campaign and Finance Assistant for her 2012 reelection campaign.  Following the election, I transitioned to a legislative aide position with the State Senate Democratic Office in Augusta where I worked for four state senators helping with constituent service and legislative work.

 

 Why did you choose to attend the University of Maine School of Law?

I chose the University of Maine School of Law for a two main reasons: first, once I moved back to Maine I didn’t want to leave again.  I am convinced that this is one of the most amazing places on earth, with beaches, ski mountains, and extremely kind people with an incredible work ethic.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful I stayed here. 


The second reason I chose Maine Law is that I loved the culture of this school.  I was told that it had a supportive environment with rigorous academics, and that couldn’t be more true.  My classmates are some of the most incredible people, and will bend over backwards to help one another out. 


What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law Student?

Again, I would have to reiterate the amazing culture at Maine Law.  My classmates consistently help each other out and accessing anyone (students, professors, staff) at the school is as easy as knocking on their door or sending an email.  When I have a question, the staff, professors, and administration go out of their way to help answer it.


Are you involved in extracurricular activities, either on or off campus? What are they?

On campus, I participate in the Women’s Law Association (WLA) and the Maine Association for Public Interest Law (MAPIL).  I am also serving as a 1L Representative to the Student Bar Association (SBA) where I serve on the Events Committee and the Services Committee.        


In my time off campus, I volunteer on a number of political campaigns and I am a member of the current Emerge Maine class, an organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office.


Portland has a reputation for its vast array of food options. Do you have any favorite restaurants or grocery stores?

I love Rosemont Market and Bakery, which has a few locations throughout Portland and is known for its local produce and foods.  It is too hard to identify my favorite restaurant because it seems like a new establishment opens every day.  The options are endless and incredible.  Let’s just say I never go hungry.


What is your favorite thing to do in Portland?

My favorite thing to do in Portland is look up at the sky at night.  Portland is a small city, so the moon and stars on a clear night are absolutely breathtaking.


For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

I would describe the student community as just that, a community.  Every student has a unique background and experience that they bring to Maine Law.  We don’t only spend our days in the classroom together, but students are constantly organizing events and gatherings that are open to the entire student body. 


Students also invite one another to their non-Maine Law events.  For example, we have a rugby player in our class that invites everyone to his games, we had a student organize a dinner and movie night, and we have classmates who lend their cars so that other students can go vote.  This is just a small picture of the student community at Maine Law.  I am still in my first semester, but I already know that my classmates will not only be my future colleagues, but also some lifelong friends.

 

Name: Carson Phillips-Spotts
Class of 2016
Hometown: 
Atlanta, Georgia
Undergrad:
Colby College
Major:
Latin American Studies

What did you do prior to coming to the University of Maine School of Law?

I worked as a paralegal in the Immigration Services Department of the Latin American Association in Atlanta, Georgia. The Latin American Association is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services to low-income Latino families in the greater Atlanta area. My experience there really fostered my interest in pursuing a career in law.

 Why did you choose to attend the University of Maine School of Law?

The size of the school was a big draw for me. Law school, and in particular the first year of law school, can be very hectic. Having a small, collaborative student body really helps to reduce that stress.

 What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law Student?

The availability of the faculty, staff, TA’s and upperclassmen has been a huge help. There is an abundance of resources at your disposal as a 1L. If you have questions about anything from housing options to a difficult concept in a certain class, there is always someone willing and able to help.

 What is one thing that has surprised you about Maine Law?

The wide array of interests of my classmates.  Getting to know members of the 1L class has really opened up my eyes to the breadth of the career goals that they have.  From public interest law, to personal injury law, the career interests of my classmates run the gamut.

 When you are not at school, how do you like to spend your time?

I played football in both high school and college, so I like to try and remain competitive. Maine Law Basketball has some good pick-up games on Tuesday and Thursday nights that are pretty fun.

 Portland has a reputation for its vast array of food options. Do you have any favorite restaurants or grocery stores?

Nosh Kitchen Bar on Congress Street is one of my favorites.  Nosh has phenomenal sandwiches and wraps and great lunch specials. I would definitely recommend it.

What is your favorite thing to do in Portland?

Besides studying? Hanging out with friends. Although Portland isn’t a huge city, it offers a lot in terms of dining/entertaining options.  Because this is my first year living here, I am still discovering places on a daily basis.

 For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

In a word, I would describe the student body as collegial. I think members of the 1L class understand and embrace the newness of the experience that is law school, and they take a “we’re in the same boat” approach to dealing with new challenges. The upperclassmen, having gone through what we are going through now, are very empathetic to our situation and are always willing to offer guidance and advice.

 

Kevin Decker

Name: Kevin Decker
Class of 2014
Hometown: Shapleigh, ME (live in Portland now)
Undergrad: Dartmouth College, class of 2008

 

"... I could get a high quality education from an excellent faculty in a close-knit community..."

Why did you choose to attend the University of Maine School of Law?

There are many factors that led me here, and it was a complicated decision. But I’ll try to boil it down to a few key reasons: quality, location, and money.  I spoke with quite a few current Maine Law students and recent graduates who had great things to say about their law school experience.  As I became more familiar with Maine Law, the more I realized that I could get a high quality education from an excellent faculty in a close-knit community (which has been the case).  I’m originally from Maine, and although I had left the state for school and to work in Boston for a few years, I knew I wanted to return to Maine and start my legal career in Portland.  I knew going to Maine Law would provide me the best access to Maine’s legal community, and I haven’t been disappointed on that point. And, finally, Maine Law by far made the most sense financially.

 

What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law student?

I think a key element to staying sane as a law student is to retain a “real life” outside of school. I try leaving time open for friends and family, as well as things like running and watching football games. “Real life” becomes especially important during finals, to deal with the persistent and exhausting feeling that there is always something you should be doing to prepare for exams.

 Are you involved in extracurricular activities, either on or off campus? What are they?

I’m on the Maine Law Review.  That means that I spent a lot of time in the beginning of the semester cite-checking articles for the upcoming issue. Right now, I’m working on writing a comment for the law review about federalism and energy transmission.  Also, as part of the Academic Support Program, I am a teaching assistant for a first-year course called “Legislation & Administration,” which involves holding weekly group study sessions and office hours.

 

Portland has a reputation for its vast array of food options. Do you have any favorite restaurants or grocery stores?

That’s the toughest question you’ve asked me. If I was absolutely forced to pick a favorite restaurant, I’d have to say Local 188, but I’ve had many great dining experiences in Portland at other restaurants.  If I’m looking for something less formal, I like to go to Silly’s or Duckfact, or grab a slab from Micucci’s or a slice at Otto.  And I start everyday with coffee from Coffee by Design.

What are some things that have surprised you about living in Portland?

I’m surprised by the fact that I’ve lived here for almost two and a half years, and even though Portland is a relatively small city, there are still many parts of it that I haven’t explored. I’m also always surprised at the number of people who come out for the Art Walk every first Friday of the month, even in the winter. And I was pleasantly surprised when, this past summer, the city was able to attract the attention of Mumford & Sons, who performed on the Eastern Prom overlooking Casco Bay, a few hundred yards from my apartment – that was pretty amazing.

For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

I’d describe the students here as very supportive.  The community is small as far as law schools go, which means both that you have a chance to get to know your classmates and that students tend to cooperate and help each other rather than engage in unhealthy competition.

Ali Tozier

Name: Ali Tozier
Class of 2015
Hometown: Falmouth, Maine
Undergrad: Williams College

"...the student community here is one of the best parts about Maine Law."

Why did you choose to attend the University of Maine School of Law?

I came to University Maine School of Law because of the location, the high quality of education, and the small student body. The professors are top-notch and I find the students to be intelligent, engaging and kind. Having a class of less than 100 means that we all get to know each other well; since law school can be stressful, having a tight community is incredibly valuable.

What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law student?

The friendly nature of both the professors and the students.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities, either on or off campus? What are they?

Yes. I am a co-chair of the Women’s Law Association. I am a member of the International Law Society and helped organize the International Law Weekend in New York City recently. I do two work-study jobs during the week, am starting to mentor a high school student and I also try to make time for yoga.

 

Portland has a reputation for its vast array of food options. Do you have any favorite restaurants or grocery stores?

Yes! Restaurant: Duck Fat; Grocery Store: Trader Joes

Although you are originally from Maine, you’ve been away for some time. What are some things that have surprised you about living in Portland?

Growing up in Falmouth, I actually didn’t go into Portland that often. Now I feel like I have discovered a whole new world! I have lived in Los Angeles, Boston and London, each for at least a year, and I have also spent a significant amount of time in DC and NYC, but still I find Portland to be incredible. It has the culture, music and coffee shop scene that I Iove about cities. However, I find its small size and cozy feel make it more manageable than other, more expansive places I’ve lived. It is hard to be lost here. Portland has a beautiful and creative energy about it and living here makes me feel a part of something.

As a 1L, how would you describe your experience thus far?

Well, I find it hard to describe. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I was told it would be overwhelming and that 1Ls sometimes would have breakdowns… but now I really get what people meant. It is hard to manage your time as a 1L. I had a fairly demanding undergrad experience, but this is harder than that! Knowing you will be cold-called during class means you can’t just skim your readings. It has been a great lesson in time management. All that said, I still really love it. I feel engaged with the world again and I appreciate how much my professors expect from me. I find the material fascinating (something I was anxious about before starting school) and I also really like my peers. We are all experiencing the same stress and are helping each other through it. I definitely made the right decision to come here.

For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

I would say the student community here is one of the best parts about Maine Law. Isn’t there some assumption that law students are supposed to be ultra competitive with each other or something? Well, that’s not what you’ll find here.

The idea of tearing someone else down to get ahead doesn’t seem to exist: at least, I haven’t noticed it here. Instead, I find my peers to be helpful, nice and just plain remarkable people! We are quick to share notes, grab coffee, and support each other in any way. I am always greeted with kind smiles when I walk into class and that makes a big difference to my day. I’m also glad I’m not going to be in as much debt as some of the other students out there, which is an important consideration for anyone applying to law school. All in all, Maine Law is a fun place to learn and I’m grateful for the friendships, professors and the opportunities I have here.

Ben Birney

Name: Ben Birney
Class of 2013
Hometown: North Yarmouth, ME
Undergrad: Williams College

"What sets Maine Law apart for me is the quality of the academic community."

I want to base my legal career in Maine if possible, and, at any rate, want to spend as much time here as possible while getting my law degree. Portland is a beautiful, safe, and clean, it’s well worth the effort (and the winter!) to establish myself in the Maine legal community. I can think of no better place to raise child.

What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law student?

The relationships I built with fellow law students in my first year were absolutely essential to making the adjustment and doing well.  In my first year at Maine Law, everybody shared in an intense, difficult, but incredibly rewarding experience.  Drawing support, companionship, and intellectual challenge from my fellow students was a cornerstone of my first year experience, and has continued to serve me well. The best advice I can give to a new first-year student is to treat your classmates well and be ready to learn from them.

Aside from this, succeeding in my first year at Maine Law required three other things: Discipline, focus, and commitment.  Discipline, because there were many times when the work was long and hard, and finding time to do it around the rest of life was a serious challenge.  Focus, because the work required it, and because life is distracting.  Commitment, because it would have been easier—but much less satisfying—to have done the minimum and just gotten by.  To get the most out of Maine Law, I had to invest heavily in these things.  Because I made that investment, I am very happy with my Maine Law experience.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities, either on or off campus? What are they?

I served as vice president of the Maine Law Student Bar Association and as vice president of the International Law Society. I am also the Managing Editor of Maine Law Review, a legal writing teaching assistant, and, outside of Maine Law, a part-time software developer.

What are some things that have surprised you about living in Portland?

Although it has many of the best characteristics of larger cities, Portland also has wonderful open, green spaces to enjoy and explore.  I have loved walking, running, and bicycling on and in the city’s many parks, pathways, and even forests.  It is also easy to access open and beautiful rural land very close to the city.

What has been your best experience at the University of Maine School of Law?

Preparing for exams during my first year, both in the fall and spring semesters, was an outstanding experience. I say this because I witnessed and took part in a very high degree of cooperation and peer support among my classmates. Exams are stressful and difficult, particularly in law school. What impressed me about the experience was how well people came together, supported each other, helped each other learn and study, and forced themselves and their peers to rise to the challenge. Rarely have I seen so many people so dedicated both to their own success and the success of the people around them.

For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

What sets Maine Law apart for me is the quality of the academic community. My classmates, as a group and as individuals, possess a remarkable combination of intelligence, camaraderie, and competitiveness, all balanced with a remarkably compassionate human touch. We are all living through an amazing and expanding time in our lives, and the community of students and faculty is incredibly positive. Students support each other when they don’t have to; when it would be easier to just let the other person go it alone; when it’s not convenient. Yes, we compete, and compete hard; but we also cooperate and help each other. To me, that sets Maine Law apart from a great many other law schools, from whose students I hear just the opposite story.

Debbie Alamrew

Name: Debbie Alamrew
Class of 2015
Hometown: London, England
Undergrad: University of North Texas

 

"...the sense of community is strong, and feeling part of the community has made the adjustment easy."

Why did you choose to attend the University of Maine School of Law?

I have always been passionate about public service, specifically human rights. I made the decision to attend law school so I could attain the knowledge and skills to make a difference in this area. From my experience, people are too often unaware of their rights, and as a result lose their voice in the process. In researching law schools I was drawn to the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic here at Maine Law. I immediately knew this was something I would become involved with as it provides first hand experience to advocate on behalf of clients. I was also attracted to the small size of the school; I already feel so comfortable here and have established relationships that mean a lot to me in the space of just a few months. I know that over the next three years I will grow a great deal as a person, and I am incredibly happy that I chose Maine Law as the site for this valuable journey.

 

What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law student?

Everyone here at Maine Law has made this transition as smooth and easy as it could possibly be. Moving from Texas to Maine to attend law school was exceptionally daunting, but the faculty, staff, and students have made the experience truly enjoyable. From the first day it was evident that everyone here wants to see you succeed and will do whatever they can to help you do so. Being such a small school, the sense of community is strong, and feeling part of the community has made the adjustment easy.

 

Are you involved in extracurricular activities, either on or off campus? What are they?

Yes I am. I joined the Maine Association for Public Interest Law (MAPIL) because it speaks directly to my interests. One of the goals of the organization is to provide diverse legal opportunities for students. Although I have only been here for a few months, it is one organization I look forward to becoming involved in. I am also a member of the Multicultural Association at Maine Law (MAML) which seeks to promote diversity within the legal profession in Maine. Although I definitely understand the importance of balancing school with extracurricular activities, I did not want to spread myself too thin, so for now, MAPIL and MAML, together with my 1L schedule, are keeping me on my toes.

 

Portland has a reputation for its vast array of food options. Do you have any favorite restaurants or grocery stores?

Portland has many amazing restaurants and since I have only been here for a few months I am still discovering them all! I am a seafood lover and I definitely came to the right place for that. The lobster at DiMillo’s is incredible, but of course being back on a student’s budget you won’t find me there every weekend. Benkay has good sushi, which is my favorite food, but I still have a lot more exploring to do.

 

Debbie, you went to college in Texas. What are some things that have surprised you about living in Portland?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Texas. Portland is, however, distinctly different from Dallas, and I love the differences. Portland is small, yet so full of such fascinating activities. There is a great art scene, a distinct culture, and the architecture truly lends itself to the historic atmosphere of this city. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and as fall approaches I am continuously captivated by the beauty. I think what most surprises me about living in Portland is how much I really do love it here.

 

As a 1L, how would you describe your experience thus far?

Exciting, interesting, and challenging! Every day presents a new challenge, with many lessons to be learned. I am meeting people with very different backgrounds, and it is interesting to draw from one another’s experiences, and to learn that with our different stories we all seek and strive for the same goal.

 

For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

Absolutely incredible! Everyone is really welcoming and supportive, and as I said before, everyone just wants to see you succeed. The atmosphere in my 1L classroom is not a cut-throat one as seen in many law schools. Our class is competitive and that challenges us all to push ourselves in a positive manner. There is a great sense of camaraderie among us of all, and that is a distinguishable characteristic of Maine Law.

Amy Olfene

Name: Amy K. Olfene
Class of 2014
Hometown: Minot, Maine
Undergraduate Institution: University of Southern Maine, summa cum laude

"...the school really tries to encourage students to engage in a holistic educational experience."

Why did you choose to attend the University of Maine School of Law?
During my career prior to law school, I had the opportunity to work with a number of talented advocates, many of whom are attorneys. Their knowledge and skills, in a large way, were drawn from their law school education and legal practice. I had always considered going to law school, but it was the desire to be a stronger, well-rounded advocate that finally prompted me to apply to the University of Maine School of Law.
Moreover, while I wouldn’t trade my experiences prior to law school for anything, I have never regretted my decision to improve my education. Whenever someone asks me about law school, I can’t help but respond, “It was the best decision I ever made for myself.” The skills I have acquired, the opportunities I’ve been provided, and the amazing friends I have made make attending Maine Law one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of my life.

What has been most helpful to you in making the adjustment to the life of a Maine Law student?

The people. You hear horror stories about how cut-throat law school can be, but the environment at Maine Law could not be more collegial. Some of my best friends are folks I met in the 1L classroom, and I’ve had a wonderful experience working with my classmates in a number of different capacities. The administration and faculty have proven to be overwhelmingly supportive, and everyone here wants you to succeed.

Amy, you are very active, both on and off campus. You’re a volunteer for the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, co-chair of the Maine Association for Public Interest Law, and staff member of the Maine Law Review. What are your specific strategies in balancing school work with the extracurricular activities?

It’s a challenge! This semester I took on two jobs in addition to my extracurricular activities and schooling, and I would be lying if I told you I had much of a social life left at the end of the week. But, the way I see it, law school is only three years. It is a major investment in my future, and thus I have to prioritize certain things to ensure I am getting a quality return on that investment. My volunteer work and extracurriculars supplement my education by providing a place to apply what I am learning, while also allowing me to network and connect with my community. Success in law school, like anything, correlates with the amount of time and energy you put into it. I try to make time for my friends and family, but they understand why I’m here and support my commitment.

How did your prior work experience [Senior Policy Analyst/Lobbyist Associate with the American Lung Association of New England; Program Director for Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine] prepare you for your position as the Linda Smith Dyer Fellow for the Maine Women’s Policy Center?

My prior work experience was a huge benefit when I joined the Maine Women’s Policy Center. Much of my work as the Linda Smith Dyer Fellow was policy focused, and required me to analyze, discern, and summarize a variety of laws and policy options, which was the focus of much of my work at the American Lung Association. In addition to my policy work, I was also responsible for organizing coordinated events and developing educational materials, a dual-focus of my work with the Breathe Easy Coalition.

Portland has a reputation for its vast array of food options. Do you have any favorite restaurants or grocery stores?

The Great Lost Bear. Is it any wonder Matt McClellan (’14; a long-time GLB employee) and I became fast friends? When I moved to Portland in 2006, I lived in the Woodlands neighborhood, and my roommate and I would head there every Thursday night after the gym for grilled chicken salads with GLB’s AMAZING ranch dressing and a beer (negating all that working out, I suppose). I missed the tradition when I left the neighborhood. So, when I came back to Portland to attend law school, my coworkers gave me the best going away present ever: a substantial gift card to GLB. Back in town, it is my go-to spot for everything: dinners, drinks, meetings, or a just a quick bite on my way to the library.

What are some things that have surprised you about living in Portland?

The most surprising thing to me about Portland is its ability to be lively and full of new discoveries, while maintaining its small town charm. I am never bored here; there is always somewhere to go, or something to see and do.

For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

Amazing. I can’t stress how collegial and supportive the student body is at Maine Law. For example, if you are out sick, chances are five people are emailing you their notes and asking if there is anything they can do to help. If you are struggling with an assignment or case, there is always someone willing to sit down and talk it through with you. In many ways, my classmates have become like family, and we do our best to support and reassure each other along the way.

In addition, the school really tries to encourage students to engage in a holistic educational experience. Maine Law hosts a vast array of student-run organizations, with many opportunities to take on leadership roles and network with the community. Quiet days are very few and far between, with lectures, panel presentations, and events happening all the time.