Eliza Mette '18Background

Class of 2017

Hometown: Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Undergrad: George Washington University

Major: Public Health

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

I worked as a cancer research fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Maine Law

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

One of the major reasons I chose to attend Maine Law was the educational value. After hearing from several attorneys that I should minimize the cost of my education as much as possible, I realized that attending Maine Law was the best way to achieve this. Maine Law also has a strong alumni network in Washington, D.C., and I felt confident that attending Maine Law would allow me to return to D.C. after graduation. (I have since decided to stay in Maine.)

As a 3L, how would you describe your experience at Maine Law?

Overall, it has been awesome. First year was slightly terrifying, as it is everywhere, but it was also wonderful.  I learned an incredible amount and formed friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Second year was also challenging, but in different ways. I externed both semesters, which I highly recommend. I worked at Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) my first semester, which provides legal services to people seeking assistance with the complicated immigration process. During the second semester, I lobbied at the state house for the Maine Women’s Lobby. Both externship experiences were hugely beneficial, in terms of helping me develop my legal research and advocacy skills and my professional network. This semester, I am looking forward to working as a student attorney in the Refugee & Human Rights Clinic.

What are you looking to do after graduation, and how has Maine Law helped to facilitate that goal?

I would eventually like to work in state-level health policy reform. I developed a health law and policy lecture series with Associate Dean Jennifer Wriggins which allowed me to expand my professional network and bring key health policy stakeholders to Maine Law. I also took Health Care Law and Ethics, a non-traditional, discussion-based class that featured almost weekly guest speakers. This class reinforced and filled in the gaps in my knowledge of health care law. I was also able to connect with several of the guest speakers and have been given professional opportunities as a result.

Activities

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

I joined the Maine Law Policy Group (MLPG) during 1L year and then co-chaired it during my 2L year. The group aims to educate the Maine Law student body about state policy initiatives and engage its members in the legislative and political processes. With the help of Associate Dean Wriggins, I organized a lecture series that featured legal and professional experts discussing a variety of topic areas, including physician-assisted suicide, state-mandated immunizations, and the current opioid epidemic.

I also participated in the Portland Mentor Alliance throughout the last two years and cannot recommend it enough. I mentored a young woman from Rwanda who will be attending the University of Southern Maine in the fall. We have become really good friends, and I look forward to continuing our friendship in the years to come.

Portland

What is your favorite thing to do in Portland?

Portland has several awesome thrift stores, which are virtually all within walking distance of one another. It also has some of the top breweries in the country. Spending an afternoon shopping, trying new beer at a brewery with friends, and then an evening at one of my favorites restaurants in town is one of my favorite things to do in Portland.

Advice

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

I applied to Maine Law as an afterthought, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.