Jim Burke, a lawyer with 40 years of courtroom experience, is a highly regarded teacher and mentor at Maine Law’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. Under the supervision of Professor Burke, student attorneys represent real clients in cases ranging from a wide range of general practice legal issues to defense of felony criminal charges.
Professor Burke teaches in both the General Practice Clinic and the Prisoner Assistance Clinic. Before joining the faculty full-time, Professor Burke was a lawyer in Lewiston from 1976 to 2005, with a practice covering nearly every area of law: Civil, Criminal and Constitutional cases in both State and Federal Courts and a general practice including real estate, family law, wills, probate, corporations (both for and not-for profit), and Federal ERISA and RICO cases. He has represented lawyers, therapists and real estate agents before professional licensing boards, and he advised artists and musicians on various artistic and intellectual property legal issues. Professor Burke was a Complaint Justice and a Referee for the Eighth District Court, and a mediator and arbitrator for Superior, District and Probate Courts, as well as for private parties.
Professor Burke was counsel in over thirty reported cases, including Portland v. De Paolo, 531 A.2d 669 (1987) which re-interpreted and expanded the right to a civil jury trial in Maine. Professor Burke has been active in numerous professional organizations, including service as President and Treasurer of the Androscoggin County Bar Association, and two appointments as President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. He is currently on the Maine State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee.
When not at the Clinic, Jim lives in the woods, enjoying music, cooking, the environment, and traveling as widely as possible.