COVID-19 Maine Law Community Messages

COVID-19 Maine Law Community Messages

CARES Act – Law School Distribution Plan

May 5, 2020

The University of Maine School of Law received $35,481 from the University of Southern Maine. Maine Law automatically distributed $150 per student to all eligible students. Maine Law also supplemented its student funds with funds from the institutional portion of the CARES Act. These funds have been used to award emergency grants to students on a case-by-case basis.

An update on Reunion 2020

April 7, 2020

In light of the continuing spread and impact of COVID-19, Maine Law will not be hosting Reunion Weekend as planned this year. We are disappointed we had to make this difficult decision, but the health and safety of our Maine Law community must remain our priority amid the uncertainties of the weeks ahead. We will be issuing refunds for anyone who has already registered.

We are saddened we won’t be gathering to celebrate in June, but invite you to think of creative ways to support and remain connected to one another during this time of social distancing. Please email us at lawalum@maine.edu with any ideas that might inspire or connect our wonderful Maine Law community.

An update on Graduation for the Class of 2020

March 30, 2020

Dear graduating 3Ls:

As you saw from the Chancellor’s email earlier this afternoon, the University of Maine System has made the decision to cancel in-person commencement ceremonies this May for all the System campuses. I know that many of you, like many of us, are heartbroken, but I hope you understand the rationale behind the decision. With the number of Covid cases in Maine and nationwide increasing exponentially, we have to take proper steps to protect your health and well-being. We will now begin exploring how and when we can celebrate your accomplishments and do so safely.

We intend to proceed in two ways. First, we plan to hold a remote graduation ceremony as close to the date and time of your original ceremony as possible (likely Friday, May 22, in the afternoon). This will allow us to announce graduation honors, the winners of various achievement awards, listen to speakers, and congratulate you on your amazing accomplishment. We believe it is important for a contemporaneous celebration to take place, even if we are limited to virtual handshakes rather than real ones. Second, we will explore the possibility of holding an in-person event to honor your class when it is feasible while complying with public health measures. This may be in the late summer or fall, or perhaps even later.

To implement these plans, we will work with the SBA. Commencement is such an important event for graduates and their families that I want to make sure we are listening to student input and incorporating as much of it as we can into our planning.

I know whatever approach we come up with will not be ideal; these days, nothing is. I know how much you’ve been looking forward to graduation. I know how much it means to your family to see you cross that stage. I, too, was so excited about my one and only chance to experience the ceremony as your proud Dean. But you’ve been resilient, and I am so grateful for your patience and fortitude. I promise I will continue advocating on your behalf within the University System and the state as a whole as you face the uncertainty not only around graduation but around admission to the bar in this chaotic time. I, and the rest of our Maine Law team, will try to come up with ways to make these alternatives as special as they can be.

Please keep up your incredible work and stay strong through this crisis. And please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Dmitry Bam
Interim Dean and Professor of Law


An update to the Maine Law Community

March 13, 2020

Over the last few weeks, Maine Law and the University of Maine System have been communicating with students, faculty, and staff regularly about concerns over COVID-19. The University of Maine System has a Health Advisory resource website with information and updates regarding COVID-19 System-wide. The following is information on Maine Law’s response:

  • Effective March 23, 2020, University of Maine System universities will transition all in-class academic instruction to online, with some exceptions for graduate and clinical work.
  •  Maine Law is following this guideline and is prepared to deliver classes online when students return from spring break. Some aspects of Maine Law’s work cannot be done online and discussions with Clinical Faculty and Trial Practice faculty are taking place to accommodate the needs of those classes and how to minimize exposure and direct interaction to the extent possible.
  • Students, faculty, and staff have been discouraged from personal travel outside of Maine. The University of Maine System has prohibited non-essential University-related air travel.
  • Both the Maine Law building and Library will be closed to the general public until further notice.
  • The University of Maine System is following Governor Mills’s recommendation to postpone all gathering of 250 attendees or more through April 12, 2020. Maine Law has decided to cancel or postpone all Law School events through April 30, 2020. (The Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition scheduled for April 2-4 will proceed as scheduled virtually.) Law School events scheduled for May are being considered on a case-by-case basis at this time.

Maine Law’s priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and the entire Maine Law Community. Faculty and staff are working hard to ensure our students can complete the semester successfully and to communicate with our greater Maine Law Community in a timely manner about events and Maine Law news. We are regularly communicating with our students, faculty, staff, and alumni about updates, changes, and cancellations from the Law School.