Shannon Linnehan

Energy & Environmental Law Fellow


Class of 2023

Hometown: Nashua, New Hampshire

Undergrad: Villanova University

Majors/Minors: Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering

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

Before law school, I worked for several years as an environmental engineer in Colorado and Maine, designing water and wastewater infrastructure and treatment plants.

Maine Law

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

A range of factors led me to choose Maine Law, including its affordability and location in Portland, where I had been living for two years. More importantly, I knew that Maine Law would give me opportunities to network with Maine professionals, and I was impressed by the many environmental law offerings and accomplished faculty.

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

The community has been vital in adjusting to life as a law student. Besides making class exciting and thought-provoking, my classmates are an excellent support system. There is always someone to motivate me through the hard work, or to remind me to take a break when I need one. The Maine Law faculty also go out of their way ensure that students maintain the balance we need to be healthy and successful.

How would you describe your experience at Maine Law?

Fun! I have loved being immersed in a learning environment again, discussing important issues with peers and professors who offer new and thoughtful perspectives, and feeling like I am building the tools to make a difference in the world. Even the many challenges and hours of hard work have been deeply rewarding.

What are you hoping to do after graduation, and how is Maine Law helping you to facilitate that goal?

I hope to have a clerkship out of school, and go on to work in environmental law in a public interest capacity. Maine Law’s Career Services Office and the well-connected faculty have guided me toward creating a class schedule that reflects my interests, put me in touch with professionals, and helped me polish my resumes and cover letters.


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

I am a member of the Energy and Environmental Law Society, which I am co-chairing for the 2021-2022 school year. EELS has been a great way to meet other students interested in environmental law, as well as local and national leaders in the field; getting to spend time outside as part of many events is an added bonus. I am also part of the new mentor-mentee program, which is so valuable for bringing the student body closer across grade levels and imparting law school wisdom to new students.

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

Around Portland, I like to walk to East End beach with my husband and our dog, read at the Eastern Prom, and try different restaurants and breweries. Otherwise, you can find us up in the mountains hiking and camping, and skiing in the winter.


Portland has a reputation for its vast array of food options. Do you have any favorite restaurants or grocery stores?

Baharat in East Bayside is amazing.


For someone who is considering attending Maine Law, how would you describe the student community here?

The student community is my favorite part of Maine Law. Even amid a pandemic, I felt nothing but support from every student I met. The students are thoughtful, motivated, intelligent, and always eager to help others succeed. It is a joy to learn from this community, and it gives me hope that these are the future leaders in our profession.

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

Take the extra time to talk with your professors after class and in office hours. They are incredibly smart, and there to help you succeed. Some of my favorite moments of law school have been in my conversations with professors and a handful of students after class. Those conversations pushed me to think critically about the law and my role in this field, and to understand the real-world implications of the course material. Taking that extra time pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me a better student. Plus, it gave me more confidence in public speaking and cold-calls!