Second year success for Maine Law’s PLUS Program

Second year success for Maine Law’s PLUS Program

A diverse group of 25 college undergraduates  – including students from rural Maine and students originally from Ghana, Russia, Jamaica, and other nations – participated in the University of Maine School of Law’s second annual summer immersion program for young people interested in leadership, law, and professional careers.

The 2017 PreLaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program was held at Maine Law from May 29 to June 23, 2017. The program is designed primarily for college students of color, immigrants, low-income students, and students from rural areas, reflecting the ultimate goal of bringing more diversity to the legal profession in Maine and around the country.

Maine Law was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Law School Admission Council to fund the PLUS Program for three years. Taught by Maine Law professors and staff, the curriculum included an introduction to lawyering, leadership skills, legal writing, as well as visits to courthouses, law firms, the State House, and other institutions. Students also learned professional skills such as resume writing, networking, and interviewing.

Among this summer’s highlights:

  • Students debated hot issues in immigration and took part in simulations on negotiating, plea bargaining, and advocating orally before an appellate court and an administrative agency.
  • Judges Peter Cary, Keith Powers, Paul Fritzsche, Rick Lawrence, and Patrick Ende hosted the students to observe proceedings in various courtroom settings, and took time to speak with them and answer questions.
  • Doyle & Nelson hosted an ice cream social at the end of the students’ day in Augusta.
  • Berman & Simmons sponsored a reception during the last week of the program at which lawyers from the firm met with students.