The three-year curriculum is intensive and challenging. It is both broad and general in nature, offering courses in subjects as diverse as international business transactions and environmental law, as well as traditional core courses. The underlying purpose of the curriculum is to give students a solid foundation in legal analysis and practical lawyering skills that will serve them well in any field they choose to pursue.
Maine Law gives students the opportunity to learn about the real-world practice of law. Trial Practice, Trial Advocacy, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Negotiation, provide simulation courses in litigation and alternatives to litigation. In these courses, students learn and practice techniques used in negotiations, client counseling, mediation, settlement discussions, and every aspect of trial preparation and presentation.
Clinical and public service education is available through the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, which represents low-income individuals living in Cumberland, York, Southern Androscoggin and Western Sagadahoc counties. At this time, the Clinical program includes four separate clinics: the General Practice Clinic, and the Prisoner Assistance Clinic, which are offered every semester, as well as the Criminal Defense Clinic and the Family Law Clinic, which are offered periodically.
In addition to the live clinic opportunities described above, the Law School offers a six- or twelve-credit Externship which places qualified third-year students in specified practice settings, combining practical experience at a private law firm in the Portland area with service in a public interest area. The Maine Attorney General's Office, United States Attorney, University of Maine System Counsel, and Legal Services for the Elderly are some of the public and not-for-profit agencies that offer externship opportunities.
Students who want to gain exposure to the "real world" of law practice and government service should consider taking either a practical skills, simulation, planning or clinical course offering.