Legal Writing Professor and
Director, Legal Research and Writing Program
B.A., Wellesley College
M.A., George Washington University
J.D., University of Maine
Office Phone: (207) 780-4096
"I love this job," says Professor Nancy Wanderer. "It is a perfect fit with my writing, teaching and counseling background." Her students agree. Professor Wanderer is director of the first year Legal Research and Writing Program at the Law School. Her enthusiasm in working with students and her love of the law, particularly as it relates to women's and minority rights, is quite remarkable. Before attending the University of Maine School of Law, Professor Wanderer had a career in education, focusing primarily on counseling and language arts. She first taught writing as a professor at Unity College in Unity, Maine. She became interested in the law while working as associate director for career counseling at Colby College. As drafter of the college's sexual harassment policy, Professor Wanderer was asked to be an advocate for an instructor involved in a sexual harassment case. Deciding that she needed the right credentials for this type of work, Professor Wanderer applied to and was accepted by the University of Maine School of Law Class of 1990.
After receiving her J.D., Professor Wanderer served as clerk to Hon. Daniel E. Wathen, a former Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. She also worked at Portland, Maine's largest law firm, representing clients in employment discrimination matters, and served as an attorney for the executive director of the Maine Health Care Finance Commission. Since coming to the law school, Professor Wanderer has frequently been asked to present writing workshops for members of both the bench and the bar.
In 2000, Secretary of Defense William Cohen appointed her to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. She served on Maine's Commission on Gender, Justice, and the Courts, as President of the Maine Women's Fund, and as Chair of the Maine State Bar Association’s Committee on the Status of Women Attorneys. Prof. Wanderer presented a workshop on "Writing Better Opinions" to all Maine state judicial law clerks in September 2000 and 2001; three ninety-minute sessions on "Professional Writing," focusing on the writing process, grammar, and punctuation, to the Finance Authority of Maine in January 2001; and presentations on "Teaching Legal Analysis with Colors: The Rainbow Connection," at the New England Legal Writing Consortium in March 2001, "ALWD vs. The Bluebook: The Jury is Out" in March 2002, and "Teaching Persuasive Writing and Oral Advocacy" in December 2002. She presented a session on "Best Brief-Writing Practices" at the Maine State Bar Association's continuing legal education program, "Appellate Practice and New Rules," and wrote the chapter on brief-writing in Justice Donald Alexander's treatise, Maine Appellate Practice. Professor Wanderer co-authored an article with attorney Catherine R. Connors on "Culture and Crime," published in Volume 47 of the Buffalo Law Review. She has also led sessions on opinion-writing for probate judges, both locally and nationally and has been working with the National Center for State Courts since 2006 to develop and present webinars on “Writing Opinions and Orders in Controversial Cases” for trial and appellate judges from all around the country.
In 2002, Professor Wanderer's article, "Writing Better Opinions: Communicating With Candor Clarity and Style," was published in the Maine Law Review. Professor Wanderer also wrote the chapter on brief-writing in Justice Donald Alexander's treatise, Maine Appellate Practice, and continues to work with Justice Donald Alexander, attorney Charles Leadbetter, and members of the Maine Law Review to produce annual editions of Uniform Maine Citations, a citation guide for Maine judges and practitioners posted on the Maine Law Review website. Her article, "Citation Excitement: Two Recent Manuals Burst on the Scene," was published in Vol. 20, No. 1 of the Maine Bar Journal (Winter 2005).