Victoria Barton '17Background

Class of 2017

Hometown: Scarborough, Maine

Undergrad: University of Vermont

Majors/Minors: Political Science, History, and Economics

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

I administered short-term and long-term benefits in addition to family leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as a Client Services Specialist at Unum in Portland.

Maine Law

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

As a born and raised Mainer, going to Maine Law seemed like a no-brainer. The institution encompasses so much of what I love about my home state. Maine Law is a small institution that focuses on the individual through small class sizes and the fostering of personal relationships amongst students, faculty, and staff. The atmosphere is an inclusive, collaborative, and passionate one with a focus on helping your fellow classmates get through the rigors of a particular course. But most notably for me, Maine Law encourages its students to go out and engage with the local community through volunteering, work experience, and networking events. Maine Law is part of a greater legal community that seeks to enable its students to make a seamless transfer from law school to the Maine Bar as practicing attorneys.

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

Coffee & excellent personal organization! On a more serious note, I would say that working at Maine Law really helped me feel at home and a part of the Maine Law community. The people who work at Maine Law are what truly make it such a special place, and I can’t thank them enough for embracing me with such kindness and purpose throughout the course of my studies.

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

Flexibility. I came to Maine Law knowing that I wanted to practice, like many others, under the expansive umbrella of environmental and energy law. Maine Law faculty and staff have been remarkably flexible and accommodating with me regarding making that desire a reality, whether it be through finding me a relevant externship to provide me with first-hand experience in the environmental and energy industries, hosting networking opportunities to interact and connect with those who practice within these field throughout Maine’s legal community, or facilitating excellent faculty relationships with students to foster professional growth and more intimate ties with a substantive area.

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

I am looking to work in the electric utility industry as either in-house counsel for an electric utility or a staff attorney for a state or federal agency that regulates electric utilities, such as the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Maine Law has helped to facilitate this goal by providing me with access to incredible faculty who have really taken it upon themselves not only to educate me, but have truly taken a personal interest in my professional goals and have aided me in finding opportunities for growth, experience, and networking to be successful throughout the course of my legal education and beyond.

Have you participated in an exchange program through the school?

I have not participated in an exchange program through the school. However, I did live and work in Washington D.C. this past summer and was pleasantly surprised by the vast network of active and supportive Maine Law alumni within the city limits.

Activities

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

I am the President of the Environmental and Energy Law Society (EELS), I am the teaching assistant for the 2L Legislation and Administrative Law course, and I work in the Technology Department as the Technology Fellow.

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

I am very excited about Maine’s new and booming craft beer scene and can regularly be found at brewery tasting rooms or on brewery tours throughout New England. I also love to get out and enjoy Maine’s beautiful scenery as much as possible and avidly take part in local hiking, swimming, and biking.

Portland

What do you like best about Portland?

Portland is an incredibly creative and stylish city that encourages and highlights the artistic efforts of those within the local community. I patiently wait each year for the cold weather to roll in because with the winter season comes the magnificent light displays and decorations that brighten up the city’s spirit and add life to the already beautiful surroundings.

Advice

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

Choosing to go to law school is a big decision that requires the consideration of many factors. It is important to think about where you want to practice and how much debt you can feasibly take on to be successful. Maine Law’s low tuition costs, location, and collaborative community made the decision to pursue a legal career an easy one.