The University of Maine School of Law is pleased to announce the law students who have been selected as Rural Law Fellows for this summer. 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 have applied to serve as mentors, and provides students with direct exposure to rural practice to inspire them to consider pursuing careers in these communities.
The 2021 Rural Law Fellows and their placements are:
- Kenzie Deveau ’22 – Law Office of Toby Jandreau, Fort Kent (Returning Fellow)
- Valentina Annunziata ’23 – Berry & Burbank, Boothbay Harbor
- Hunter Donovan ’23– Kreckel Law, Rumford
- Mary Morrissey ’23 – Sanders, Hanstein & Carey, Farmington
- Anya Sproule ’23 – Hale & Hamlin, Ellsworth
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 important project,” said Rachel Reeves, director of field placement programs at Maine Law. “Now in its fifth year, the fellowship continues to address 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, our partner organizations, and the Maine Law students and alumni who care so deeply about the communities they serve.”
The Rural Law Fellowship Program 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 initial three year pilot funding for these fellowships was provided by the Maine Justice Foundation. This year’s Rural Law Fellows are supported through a grant from the Betterment Fund as well as additional financial support from the Maine State Bar Association.