Making a Difference - Student Support

Class of 2012 Inspired by Dean Edwards Godfrey’s initial leadership, The University of Maine School of Law has long been a place of opportunity for talented individuals seeking a high quality legal education. With over 3,300 alumni throughout the U.S. and abroad who have made lasting contributions in public service, government, business and the legal profession, Maine Law continues to live up to the vision of its founders.

The Issue. Law Students today face substantial student loan debt and a challenging job market. This combination has resulted in a steep decline nationally in law school applicants in the past two years, and law schools are likely to see a further decrease in applicants this year. Maine Law has sustained a strong applicant pool, but we must respond to national trends and compete for the best law students.

The Response. Scholarship support for students is crucial as the cost of legal education has increased. Law schools all over the country are offering astounding scholarship packages to applicants. This puts increased pressure on Maine Law to offer comparable financial support to our students. We maintained our high standards for the 2012 entering class, but we lost a number of talented students who were lured away by other schools’ financial packages. If other schools continue to offer large scholarships and the applicant pool continues to drop, Maine Law risks a serious decline in the number and quality of our students.

The Strategy. If Maine Law can expand investment in scholarship support at this moment of increasing competition, the benefits would be tremendous. That is, at a time when the cost of tuition is a critical factor in students’ decisions, our ability to offer a high quality, lower cost education will serve to enhance our reputation and improve our ability to compete for strong students.

The Numbers. To put this in perspective, if Maine Law focused its efforts on the best and brightest Maine residents, a $10,000 scholarship ($30,000 for the three years) brings a student’s financial commitment to about $13,000 per year – an exceptional package for a law school education. With our small class sizes, being able to offer ten new $10,000 scholarships would fundamentally transform the entering class of students and dramatically enhance our national reputation.

Three easy ways to give. Send your gift to Maine Law Annual Fund, 246 Deering Ave., Portland, ME 04102; or donate online.