New director of field learning brings experience and energy to Maine Law

Maine Law’s newest faculty member brings a wealth of experience to her latest role. “My nature is to bounce around,” Marcia Levy said. “I just really enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new places. I’ve moved from coast-to-coast, several places in between, and done lots of work overseas.”

Next on Levy’s professional itinerary? Portland, Maine.

Levy joins The University of Maine School of Law as the new Visiting  Director of Field Placement and Pro Bono Services. In this position, she will facilitate experiential learning opportunities for Maine Law students, a long-time passion of hers.  This is a particularly exciting time in experiential learning at Maine Law, where collaborations and interdisciplinary opportunities in business, policy, engineering, and computer sciences have been catalyzed through the Maine Graduate and Professional Center.

Working in academic administration and experiential learning, however, wasn’t always the goal for Levy. She received her J.D. from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon with the firm intention of going into criminal defense.

Marcia Levy

Levy began working with the public defender’s office during law school, appearing in court and handling cases, which is when she began to appreciate the richness experiential learning lends to a law degree.

“That time was transformative for me,” Levy said. “While in school I was put on misdemeanor cases in the public defender’s office, and when I graduated, they put me right on to felonies.”

Levy stayed in the field of public defense for over a decade, working for firms and for organizations like the Prisoners’ Rights Project. When she landed at The Urban Legal Clinic with Rutgers Law School, she began to adapt her skills and experiences to the landscape of higher education.

Facilitating skills and workforce development of law students quickly became a calling for Levy, one that took her around the world. In addition to her time with many prestigious law schools, Levy also often works across international borders on facets of legal curriculum development and teaching practices. Most recently, she served as a Fulbright Specialist on the Ukrainian Law Project: Skills in Time of War with the CEELI Institute. From the Middle East, North Africa to Asia, Levy’s expertise has taken her many places, including living for a stint in Moscow developing clinical education on behalf of the American Bar Association.

“Travel is a really exciting aspect of my work,” Levy said. “I suppose you could say travel is my hobby, but, the truth is, work is my hobby and I’m lucky I’ve been able to do it in different places. It also gives me the opportunity to learn.”

Levy is ready to dive into the Maine Law community and begin serving students so they can best fulfill their professional and personal goals. And she’s also very excited about Maine Law’s new location, particularly its culinary neighbors, such as Standard Baking Co.

“Baked goods aside,” Levy continued, “what I’m genuinely looking forward to is getting to know our students and how I can evolve our program to best suit them .”

An essential aspect of her work is supporting students in creative ways that will have an impact on their educational and professional development. This encompasses a wide range of activities for Levy, from talking students through their imposter syndrome when starting a new position to offering mindfulness classes or simply listening.

“You never know how one student’s experiences will inform or help another’s, so I try to listen, learn, and absorb everything they have to tell me.”