All students admitted to Maine Law are automatically considered for scholarships funded by the University of Maine School of Law; a separate scholarship application is not required. No scholarships awarded by the University of Maine School of Law are conditional; they require only that the student remain in good academic standing. The scholarship committee begins awarding scholarships in late January. Typically all recipients are notified by March 1st.
Admitted students will be notified by letter if they are awarded a scholarship. Award amounts vary. Individuals who have been awarded a scholarship as an incoming student generally must apply each year for renewal. Several types of scholarships are available for first-year students including:
Alumni Association Scholarship Fund
Alumni Association Scholarships are merit-based funds and are awarded on the basis of academic achievement and the student's potential for success in law school. These scholarships are awarded to both resident and non-resident first-year students.
The Osher Scholarship Fund
A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to Maine residents who possess strong academic qualifications, show promise for excellence in their pursuit of legal education, and demonstrate financial need. These scholarships are made possible by a generous grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation. Award amounts vary.
William Bingham Scholarship Fund
Established in 2001, this fund offers significant tuition assistance to a Maine resident who possesses strong academic qualifications and demonstrates financial need.
The University of Southern Maine may provide some need-based scholarship assistance to students with exceptional financial need. These scholarships are funded through University sources.
Native American Scholarships
This program, funded by the University, pays tuition, mandatory fees, and on-campus room and/or board. Eligibility is extended to those persons whose names are included in the current tribal census of either Passamaquoddy or Penobscot Tribes of Indians; or those persons who have resided in Maine for at least one year immediately prior to application and at least one of whose parents or grandparents were either included on the census of a North American Tribe or held a band number of the Malacite or Micmac Tribes. For more information, visit USM's Multicultural Student Affairs site.
Scholarships Available Outside of Maine Law
In addition to Law School scholarships, individuals should explore outside scholarship opportunities. The internet can be a valuable resource in searching for scholarship opportunities. In addition, there are a number of publications available at your local bookstore or library. Scholarships may be available through local bar associations, state government offices, public and/or private organizations, or employers. A few scholarship web sites include:
Legal Scholarship Opportunities
Rhode Island Bar Foundation Scholarship
Applications for the Rhode Island Bar Foundation Scholarship are available from the Admissions Office. This award, the "Thomas F. Black, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund," is a one year, non-renewable award for full-time students who are Rhode Island residents entering their first year of law school. The objective of this scholarship program is to support high legal practice standards by providing financial assistance to students who show promise of becomming outstanding lawyers, who will adhere to such high level standards, and who demonstrate a need for financial assistance in order to study law at a quality institution. The award will be made on the basis of demonstrated good character, scholastic achievement, and financial need. For further information or assistance, visit the Rhode Island Bar Association web site.
Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund
The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund offers an annual scholarship program. The Puerto Rican Bar Association (PRBA) Scholarship will grant up to $2,000 (amount may vary) to Latino students demonstrating academic promise and financial need. All applicants must be a first- or second-year student in a JD degree program at an ABA approved school. All scholarship candidates must submit a complete and accurate application along with the required supplemental materials to be considered; no exceptions. Applications are available on the PRLDEF web site.
ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund is intended to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and to provide financial assistance to the scholarship recipients. The Scholarship Fund will award $5,000 of financial assistance annually to each scholarship recipient attending an ABA-accredited law school. Twenty awards will be made to entering first-year students and may be renewable for two additional years, resulting in financial assistance totaling $15,000 during each student's time in law school. The application may be downloaded from the ABA web site.
Other Scholarships Available
Maine Law students may also apply for a number of privately endowed and alumni-funded scholarships for the second and third year of law school.
American College of Trial Lawyers Trial Advocacy Scholarship
Established by the Maine Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, this scholarship will be awarded to the student who demonstrates the greatest skill in trial advocacy.
Richard H. Armstrong Scholarship
This scholarship has been given in memory of the first Dean of Portland Law School by members of the classes of 1950-1958.
Kenneth and Marjorie C. Baird Scholarship
The Kenneth and Marjorie C. Baird Scholarship and Loan Fund, established in 1966, will be used to aid needy and deserving students entering the second or third year, upon the recommendation of the dean. The selection of the recipients is based upon financial need, ability, character, and promise of professional success.
Israel and Sumner Bernstein Memorial Scholarship Grant
This scholarship fund has been established by the friends of Mr. Israel Bernstein, a distinguished member of the Maine Bar who died in 1967. A scholarship will be given to a student who completed the first year with high academic distinction and has need of financial aid.
William Bingham Scholarship Fund
Established in 2001, this fund will offer significant tuition assistance to a Maine resident who possesses strong academic qualifications and demonstrates financial need.
Class of 1971 Memorial Scholarship
Established by the Class of 1971 to provide scholarship assistance to a student who has made a notable contribution to the school through student organizations, student government, and who intends to practice in New England.
Richard Fay Memorial Scholarship
Established in memory of Richard Fay, who served as Assistant Dean of the Law School from 1966-1967.
Justice Harry P. Glassman Memorial Fund
Established in 1981 by the family and friends of the late Justice Glassman, a former member of the law school faculty, this scholarship is given to students who are financially needy and academically motivated.
The Morris and Sylvia Greenberg Scholarship Fund
Established in 1995, the Morris and Sylvia Greenberg Scholarship is given to students who are financially needy, academically solid, and with preference shown for students who have resided in Maine for at least five years.
Pierce B. and Arlana K. Hasler Memorial Scholarship Fund
Established by the Alumni Association in memory of a former faculty member and his wife, this fund is available for the purpose of rendering financial assistance to scholastically motivated students. It is administered by the dean and the president of the Alumni Association.
Horace S. Libby Memorial Scholarships
These scholarships have been established to honor a student who, as a lawyer, will exemplify the dedication to the law and to the public welfare which characterized Horace S. Libby's professional life. Mr. Libby was chief counsel to the Maine Public Utilities Commission for fourteen years.
Gov. James B. Longley Fund
This fund was established to honor the memory of the late Governor James B. Longley (Maine Law Class of 1957) and his wife, Catherine W. Longley. Its purpose is to aid Maine students who live within commuting distance of the Law School for whom a legal education would be impractical were they not to live at home.
David Santee Miller Scholarship
Scholarship given in memory of David Santee Miller, '74, for students with academic promise who have financial need. Preference will be given to students who, in the judgment of the dean, will as lawyers exemplify the selfless devotion to the public good which characterized Mr. Miller's professional career.
Mens Law Assocation Scholarship
The Men's Law Association scholarship was established through the 1989 Annual Fund by the class of 1983, the founders of M.L.A. It will be awarded to a non-traditional student in need of financial assistance.
New Hampshire Alumni Scholarship
This scholarship has been established by the New Hampshire Chapter of the Law School Alumni Association for New Hampshire residents who are currently attending the Law School.
The Harold J. Rubin Scholarship Fund
The Harold J. Rubin Scholarship was established by the Rubin family in 1995 honoring the memory of Superior Court Justice and Maine trial attorney Harold J. Rubin. The scholarship is awarded to a student of academic distinction who intends to practice in the Maine area and who shows exemplary skill, strong interest, and demonstrable commitment to trial practice.
Justice Abraham M. Rudman Scholarship
This scholarship fund has been endowed by the family and friends of Justice Abraham M. Rudman, a 1917 graduate of the College of Law of the University of Maine, who served on the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine from 1965 to 1967. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of financial need and academic promise, with preference given to students from the State of Maine. The recipients will be selected by the dean.
The Charles W. Smith Memorial Fund
This fund has been established by the family and friends of the late Charles W. Smith, a leading Maine trial lawyer, to provide scholarships for students with academic promise who have financial need.
Thompson Fund Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a student with interests and achievement in the area of marine resources law.
Lewis V. Vafiades Scholarship
This scholarship was established in memory of Lewis V. Vafiades, one of Maine's most distinguished attorneys who died in 2001. He was interested in ensuring that Maine's brightest men and women, those who aspire to careers in law, remain in the State of Maine. Awarded to a student with superior academic credentials, with preference given to students who are residents of Aroostook, Piscataquis, Somerset, Penobscot, Washington, Hancock, and Franklin counties.
This scholarship has been established by the Vermont Chapter of the Law School Alumni Association for Vermont residents who are currently attending the Law School.
Established by a bequest from the estate of Stella L. Violette Lombard, the John F. and Stella L. Violette/Lombard Scholarships will be awarded to promising students with financial need.
Wiley Family Scholarship
Established by gift of Peter J. Wiley of the class of 1989 and his wife Betsy, this scholarship is awarded to a second or third year law student who is a single parent with demonstrated financial need or, if no such individual can be found, to a married student with financial need.
Women's Law Association Scholarship
This scholarship is established to promote the recognition of feminist values in legal scholarship and practice. It will be awarded to an individual with financial need who, in the estimation of the dean, demonstrates a commitment to these values.