Nancy Wanderer
Legal Writing Professor
Director, Legal Research & Writing Program

Nancy Wanderer is director of the first year Legal Research and Writing Program at the Law School. She is known for her enthusiasm in working with students and her love of the law, particularly as it relates to women’s and minority rights.

A former law clerk to Hon. Daniel E. Wathen, past Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Professor Wanderer has frequently made presentations and led workshops on legal writing and analysis for lawyers, law clerks, judges and organizations around Maine and nationwide.

Professor Wanderer had an earlier career in education, with a focus on counseling and language arts. She first taught writing as a professor at Unity College in Unity, Maine. She became interested in the law while working as associate director for career counseling at Colby College. As drafter of the college's sexual harassment policy, Professor Wanderer was asked to be an advocate for an instructor involved in a sexual harassment case. Deciding that she needed the right credentials, Professor Wanderer enrolled at the University of Maine School of Law, where she earned a JD in 1990.

Following her clerkship for Justice Wathen, Professor Wanderer worked at the largest law firm in Portland, Maine, representing clients in employment discrimination matters. She also served as an attorney for the executive director of the Maine Health Care Finance Commission. In 2000, Secretary of Defense William Cohen appointed her to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. She served on Maine's Commission on Gender, Justice, and the Courts, as President of the Maine Women's Fund, and as Chair of the Maine State Bar Association’s Committee on the Status of Women Attorneys. Professor Wanderer has also led sessions on opinion-writing for probate judges, both locally and nationally and has been working with the National Center for State Courts since 2006 to develop and present webinars on “Writing Opinions and Orders in Controversial Cases” for trial and appellate judges from all around the country.

Selected Publications


WORK IN PROGRESS: OFF AND RUNNING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO LEGAL RESEARCH, ANALYSIS, AND WRITING (forthcoming 2014) (under contract with Wolters-Kluwer; co-authored with Angela C. Arey).

UNIFORM MAINE CITATIONS (Me. L. Rev.) (editor, 2010-present). [MLR]

Chapter 5: Writing Effective Law Court Briefs, in HON. DONALD G. ALEXANDER, MAINE APPELLATE PRACTICE (Tower Publ’g 3d ed. 2008). [Tower Publishing]

Fostering Public Trust through Judicial Opinion Writing
, NAT’L ASSOC. OF STATE JUD. EDUCATORS NEWS Q. (Summer 2008). [NASJE]

Additional Publications

E-Mail for Lawyers: Cause for Celebration and Concern, 21 ME. B.J. 196 (2006).

Citation Excitement: Two Recent Manuals Burst on the Scene,
20 Me. B.J. 42 (2005).

Writing Better Opinions: Communicating with Candor, Clarity, and Style
, 54 ME. L. REV. 47 (2002).

Culture and Crime: Kargar and the Existing Framework for a Cultural Defense
, 47 BUFF. L. REV. 829 (1999) (with Catherine R. Connors).

Maine Refuses to Recognize a Cause of Action for Loss of Parental Consortium: Durepo v. Fishman,
41 ME. L. REV. 165 (1989). [PDF]
Nancy Wanderer

B.A., Wellesley College
M.A., George Washington University
J.D., University of Maine School of Law


Office Phone: (207) 780-4096 wanderer@maine.edu


Research Interests:

Legal Research & Writing

Current Courses:

Legal Writing I
Legal Writing II
Legal Writing Teaching Assistant I
Legal Writing Teaching Assistant II

Curriculum Vitae