The University of Maine School of Law recently announced the law students who have been selected as Rural Law Fellows for this summer. The Fellows will work under the guidance of rural practitioners to learn the breadth and potential of serving Maine’s rural communities through exposure to all facets of legal practice.
The 2020 Rural Law Fellows and their placements are:
- Ben Everett ’21 – Swanson Law, Presque Isle (Returning Fellow)
- Cheryl Saniuk-Heinig ’21 – Camden Law, Camden (Returning Fellow)
- Kenzie Deveau ’22 – Law Office of Toby Jandreau, Fort Kent
- Chris Knight ’22 – Sanders, Hanstein & Carey, Farmington
- Lisa Rosenthal ’22 – The Sutherland Law Firm, Belfast
For many students, limited exposure to rural communities makes it difficult to envision what life and practice in a small Maine town would be like and creates a significant barrier to recruitment. Rural Law Fellows are selected each year through a competitive application process.
“I’m so grateful to be part of this special project,” said Rachel Reeves, director of field placement programs at Maine Law. “Now in its fourth year, the fellowship is addressing critical access to justice issues created by changing bar demographics. I am thankful for the work of so many who make this project a success – the bench and the bar, and the Maine Law students who care so deeply about the communities they serve.”
In 2017, Maine Law launched the Rural Lawyer Project in response to the access to justice crisis in Maine. The program pairs students with rural lawyers who serve as mentors, and provides students with direct exposure to rural practice to inspire them to consider pursuing careers in these communities. It is the result of a collaboration between the Law School, the Maine Justice Foundation, the Maine State Bar Association, and the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. The three year pilot funding for these fellowships was provided by the Maine Justice Foundation. The funding for this summer’s program is provided through a grant from the Betterment Fund.