Please read this important update from Vice Dean Dmitry Bam on the Fall 2021 Return to Campus. Additional information will be available soon.
Over the last few weeks, the Maine Law faculty, staff, and administration have had extensive and lengthy discussions about our fall 2021 return. We have also listened (and will continue to listen) to your feedback about your online experience over the last two or three semesters and how that experience has compared with your expectations coming into law school. Although remote delivery has worked better than many of us expected, we are excited to be back in-person starting this fall.
While we expect to be able to offer a couple of online classes, Maine Law will return to what it does best: in-person teaching. We learned a lot over these last 15 months, and we will continue to explore the possibility of offering more remote and hyflex courses in the future. We now know that distance legal education can work, and it can make legal training more accessible to students (and prospective students) located outside the greater Portland area. Therefore, over time, as our access to upgraded technology allows improved quality and more accessible distance learning, we will work to develop more online options for future semesters for those students who cannot join us in person, and ensuring the feasibility of effective online and hyflex delivery is one of our priorities for our new home at 300 Fore Street.
However, we believe that in-person courses work best for the kind of legal training we strive to provide and for allowing you to form a close-knit community and connections that will last for the rest of your careers. That community is central to our identity and mission here at Maine Law and something that we all missed during this last year. Of course, as the situation continues to evolve (for example, if we see the return of masking mandates or distancing requirements), we will keep you updated if our plans change.
While we now know we’ll be returning to in-person classes, some of you may be asking where these classes will be held. As most of you know, the Board of Trustees recently approved Maine Law’s move to the beautiful building at 300 Fore Street. Although we expect to learn more in the next few months, it is likely that many of us will still be in our current (round) building during the fall semester while renovation on the new building is ongoing and we are working out parking and other arrangements. If that changes, you will be the first to know.
Vice Dean / Provost and Professor of Law
University of Maine School of Law