The Charles A. Harvey, Jr. Trial Practice Immersion Fellowship

Learning from the best trial lawyers in Maine

At the University of Maine School of Law, we believe in the importance of hands-on education. Students who are selected for the Charles A. Harvey, Jr. Trial Practice Immersion Fellowship have the opportunity to learn from the best trial lawyers in Maine. Harvey Fellows rotate through area law firms in an intensive trial practice experience during the summer following their second year of law school. During the experience, students learn a great deal about the law and also about the importance of finding their voice and using it. The fellowship was established in honor of the late Charles A. Harvey, Jr. (Chuck), a preeminent Portland trial lawyer, and 1974 Maine Law graduate. Read on and get to know the first seven Harvey Fellows.

Devin Dean ’12

Devin DeaneCurrent Job: Associate at Norman, Hanson & DeTroy

Devin was the inaugural Harvey Fellow, setting the bar high for the students that would follow. Throughout the summer, he spent at least a week with eight different law firms, ranging from the state’s biggest full-service law firm to a solo practitioner handling catastrophic personal injury cases. The firms varied in size, culture, and practice areas, running the full gamut of trial practice in Maine. He worked with lawyers for plaintiffs and defendants, and others who handle cases on both sides of the “v.” Devin had the opportunity to work with Judge William Kayatta on a case he was handling as a Special Master for the United States Supreme Court (before he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit).

What he learned from the experience:

“The Harvey Fellowship teaches you a lot of things, but one of the biggest lessons for me was understanding that great trial lawyers come in many different shapes and sizes. There are many ways to try a given case and the trial lawyers who are most effective are the ones who know themselves well and tell their clients’ stories in ways that are consistent with their own personalities. It may sound simple: “be yourself”; but as a young lawyer, you can have the false impression that great trial lawyers always look and act a certain way. Through the Fellowship you see that the state’s best trial lawyers all do things a little bit (or a lot) differently, but uniformly they are themselves before their audiences. You come to understand that some of the great trial lawyers may have personalities that are very different than your own, and that is okay – you have to be yourself.”

Braden Clement ’13

Braden ClementCurrent Job: Associate in the Trial Group at Verrill Dana

During Braden’s 2L summer, he had the opportunity to spend eight weeks at eight different law firms in Central and Southern Maine. Everywhere he went people told stories about what a talented lawyer and great person Charles Harvey was. Braden found all of the attorneys that he worked with during the experience to be incredibly generous with their time, and committed to giving the Fellow a terrific experience. During his immersion summer he got to observe numerous depositions, mediations, hearings, and client and witness interviews on both sides of the bar.

What he learned from the experience:

“The Harvey Fellowship gave me real experiences that I still draw on today. I think about the different styles of advocacy that I saw other lawyers use, and what worked and didn’t work. For me, there has been no substitute for these kinds of experiences as I develop my own practice and style. The biggest lesson that I learned as a Harvey Fellow was how important it is to be kind, supportive and respectful in this profession. The attorneys who I spent time with during the Fellowship displayed these attributes daily and they were all extremely successful.”

Sara Murphy ’14

Sara MurphyCurrent Job: Clerk, Honorable D. Brock Hornby, United States District Court for the District of Maine

Sara’s summer experience was unique in that she condensed the Fellowship to accommodate a subsequent ten-week summer associate position at Pierce Atwood. The result was a four-week whirlwind Fellowship experience working with highly skilled trial attorneys at Germani Martemucci & Hill, Berman & Simmons, Drummond Woodsum, and the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office. While the fellowship was just four weeks, Sara still felt she received an incredibly diverse and comprehensive look into being a trial attorney in Maine. In her first week she participated in an investigation for a wrongful death suit, a high-conflict medical malpractice mediation, and a judicial settlement conference. In later weeks she participated in jury selections, depositions, client meetings, criminal dispositional conferences, and jury trials.

What she learned from the experience:

“My biggest takeaway from the Fellowship was the opportunity it provided me to have an all-access pass to some of the most prestigious law firms for trial advocacy in Maine and participate in multiple phases of the trial process. I was not only mentored by lawyers participating in the Fellowship, I was introduced to their colleagues, other lawyers working on the opposing side, judges, and mediators. The Harvey Fellowship, in many ways, is the only networking you will need throughout your entire law school career.”

Patrick Lyons ’15

Patrick LyonsCurrent Job: Clerk, Honorable John A. Woodcock, Jr., United States District Court for the District of Maine. In September 2016 he will join Eaton Peabody’s Bangor office.

Every day of the Harvey Fellowship provided something new for Patrick. These new experiences included: depositions, mediations, court proceedings, administrative hearings, trials, and a number of social events. He was particularly struck by the underlying theme of the importance of a positive reputation with your peers. He believes there is no better example of this than Charles Harvey. Even six years after his passing, when Patrick told an attorney he was the Harvey Fellow, two things happened: the attorney had a Chuck Harvey story; and the attorney went out of his/her way to get to know Patrick and make sure his experience was worthwhile, as they knew Chuck Harvey would have done the same.

What he learned from the experience:

“The Harvey Fellowship exposed me to how the law is actually practiced, something that no casebook or seminar can teach. Moreover, the Harvey Fellowship is the ultimate networking experience. I met numerous attorneys, many of whom are now my colleagues and friends. Without a doubt the Harvey Fellowship was the most valuable experience during my time at Maine Law.”

Carson Phillips-Spotts ’16

Carson Phillips-Spotts '16Current Job: Clerk, Honorable Justice Joseph Jabar, Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Carson spent time at six Portland-based firms and the Androscoggin District Attorney’s Office. The firms through which he rotated specialize in a wide array of practice areas, from plaintiffs’ personal injury to business litigation. Because of the breadth of the program, he was also able to assist with and take part in a multitude of events related to litigation including client interviews, mediations, medical malpractice panel hearings, criminal arraignments, and a civil jury trial. The Harvey Fellowship enabled Carson to see how great lawyers practice law. He observed an array of lawyering styles, which in turn provided him with valuable insights into his own approach to lawyering.

What he learned from the experience:

“I believe that my experiences with the Harvey Fellowship will serve me well for years to come. Apart from gaining exposure to a diverse range of practice areas, I was able to make many meaningful personal connections. The attorneys with whom I worked during the Fellowship were always more than happy to impart their words of wisdom and to share their best practices. These lessons will continue to be a resource for me as I begin to build and develop a practice.”

Meryl Poulin ’17

Meryl Poulin '17Third Year Law Student, 2016 Harvey Fellow

Meryl describes her Harvey Summer as “transformative.” She spent ten weeks in nine different law firms, watched nineteen depositions, six medical malpractice pre-litigation panel hearings, three mediations, and several witness prep meetings. She also conducted over a dozen research and writing projects on a broad range of topics. Beyond these hallmark Harvey Fellowship experiences (i.e., getting to sit at the table with real trial lawyers, while they do the real trial lawyer thing), Meryl spent countless hours riding in the car, having lunch, and sitting in the office listening to the insights of successful and deeply devoted trial lawyers.

What she learned from the experience:

“My biggest takeaway, ironic as it sounds, was a lesson in giving. The common thread among the lawyers I joined was that they were tireless, selfless, and fearless advocates. They put their clients first. They measure their days not in hours or work completed or to be completed, but rather in degrees of preparedness. Their priority is preparedness and they will do whatever needs to be done to achieve that end. Not surprisingly, they were generous to me in teaching me how to be successful in the role of trial attorney. So, what of this experience will I draw on as a practitioner? All of it, really. But above anything else, I will follow the example of selfless and devoted advocacy that I saw during my Harvey summer.”

Nicole Mason ’18

Nicole MasonSecond Year Law Student, 2017 Harvey Fellow

Nicole will be the Harvey Fellow for the summer of 2017.  We spoke to her this fall, and she had this to say:

“During my Harvey Fellowship experience I am looking forward to learning from many of Maine’s best trial lawyers and their teams. My previous career representing the State of Maine in the Family and District Courts inspired my application to law school. I am now excited by the opportunity to see cases of all types in every stage of the trial process, and to gain insight into the nitty-gritty details that go into effective trial preparation and execution. I believe this fellowship will prepare me to be the best advocate for my clients while embodying Chuck Harvey’s values of kindness, compassion, and professionalism.”