Brandon Farmer, a 2015 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, is already making a positive impact this fall as the law school’s first-ever Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic Fellow.
Farmer started the two-year assignment in August. He plays a key role in the administration of the Clinic, where law students provide free legal services to low-income residents, under the supervision of professors at Maine Law.
As the Post Doctorate Fellow for the Clinic, Farmer oversees intake of new clients, helps train student attorneys, and serves as a point person for engagement with other community organizations, among other duties. Farmer was an outstanding student attorney during his time at Maine Law. He also was a Legal Writing teaching assistant and an editor of the Maine Law Review.
The fellowship is a component of the law school’s new Enrollment to Employment (e2e) Scholars Program. The goal of the initiative is to make sure each student at Maine Law receives the mentorship and real-world experience they need to succeed in the field of their choice. The fellowship program provides graduates with opportunities to rotate through short-term work assignments at law firms, public agencies, non-profit organizations and other entities, so they can be “career ready.” Danielle Conway, Dean at Maine Law, is recruiting 10 employer partners to pilot the program.
“Brandon is already having a positive impact on the Clinic and its work,” said Professor Deirdre Smith, who has been director of the Clinic since 2004. “He has learned a great deal about all aspects of our work, as well as the legal problems faced by members of our community and the resources available to help those in need. As a former student attorney himself, Brandon is a wonderful mentor to our students.”
The Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic is one of the oldest law school clinical programs in the nation, providing free legal aid to more than 600 low-income individuals and families every year. It is a defining program of Maine Law, providing practical skills training for students, and helping to fulfill the school’s commitment to social justice.
All legal services are provided by law students who are enrolled in one of four clinical courses: General Practice, Prisoner Assistance, Juvenile Justice, and Refugee and Human Rights. Students enrolled in each of these courses also participate in the Clinic’s Protection from Abuse program, in which student attorneys assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking seeking civil protection orders.