Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back to Blogging!

Now it is 2013... and we realize this blog hasn't been updated in a while...

Lots of changes have come to the Women's Law Association since the last post. Currently, we have about 40 members, our first meeting of the year recently bringing in about 25 attendees. We mostly communicate with each other through our emails and Facebook page, but want to keep those out there who are interested updated on what is going on with our group.

Last year, we instituted 2 new programs, one being an extension of the traditional WLA Mentor/Mentee program. 

              1) The Women in Law Brunch Series

The group votes on a type of attorney to invite, and then we host a formal brunch on a Saturday morning with the chosen attorney as our guest. We bring coffee, mimosas, quiche, croissants, fruit… you name it. About 15 students mingle for a little while with the attorney before we all gather round the table and listen to our speaker as she shares her story with us. She will usually speak for  30 minutes. Then there is an hour or so of a round-table discussion. This has been a very popular ever since it began last year; our goal is to host 2 per semester. Last year we hosted Deb Buccina (litigation), Kate Knox (corporate law) and the Attorney General, Janet Mills. Our first brunch of this fall semester 2013 will be held October 5th with guest Lori Dwyer (health care law, employment law, privacy law and risk compliance).

                  2)  The Expanded Mentor Program

We decided to expand on the traditional mentor-mentee program, which facilitates one on one relationships between current law students and attorneys. We felt that people might enjoy events coming together to discuss ideas as small groups. We have a list-serve to communicate with the female professionals who wish to participate in the community. This past summer we had an event with Maine Congressional Candidate, Emily Cain, where we ate snacks and talked about the legislature. On Thursday November 21, 2013 from 5-6:30pm, we are going to get a group together again at the Cumberland Club in Portland to talk about two fascinating issues involving gender: sex trafficking around the world and transgender human rights in Botswana. Our speakers (with personal knowledge on these issues) include WLA Co-Chairs, Ali Tozier and Julie Healy, as well as two attorneys, Melissa Hewey and Courtney Beer. (If you are a female attorney in Maine not on the listserve, email alison.tozier@maine.edu to have your name added.) 

We will also be presenting another Alumna Award, and will be voting on the recipient of that in our next meeting.

The WLA has many other events happening this year as well. It is a very active group. Stay tuned for updates! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Announcing this year's Outstanding Alumna Award Recipient!

Each year, the Women's Law Association selects a Maine Law graduate who has made distinguished achievements in legal practice and noteworthy contributions to her community or to the Maine Bar in general. This year, the WLA considered a number of outstanding alumnae who were nominated to receive the Outstanding Alumna Award.

Past recipients of the Outstanding Alumna Award have included: Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, Maine Supreme Court; Justice (and former Chief Justice) Nancy Mills, Maine Superior Court; Beth Dobson, a partner of Verrill Dana; Paula Silsby, U.S. attorney for the district of Maine; M. Michaela Murphy, a partner of Jabar, Batten, Ringer and Murphy; Faye Luppi, project director of Cumberland County's Violence Intervention Partnership; Nancy Wanderer; director of the research and writing program at Maine Law, and Jennifer Archer; who works at Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman, where she concentrates on Immigration Law, and is on the pro bono panel for ILAP; and Judge Christine Foster.

This year Alice Clifford will receive the Outstanding Alumna Award. Alice Clifford is a veteran assistant district attorney for District V, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. She received her J.D. from Maine Law in 1988, worked briefly at the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, and then was hired as an assistant district attorney in Bangor in 1989. As an ADA in Bangor, Alice Clifford has led domestic violence prosecutions. In years past, prosecution success rates for domestic violence rates were at 50 percent. In recent years, that success rate has risen to 95 percent.

The Alumna Award Reception will be on Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 6:00 pm. The WLA is hosting the Reception on the 7th floor of the Glickman Library, where the Reception was last year.

For more details on the reception, or to be e-mailed an invitation when the location is finalized, please contact the WLA by mailing the

Women's Law Association
University of Maine School of Law
246 Deering Ave.
Portland, Maine 04102


by e-mailing Elyse Apantaku at elyse.apantaku@maine.edu

We hope that you will be able to attend the reception.

The Maine State Bar Association Women's Law Section Calendar

Here is a link to the September/October 2010 pdf of the MSBA Women's Law Section calendar.


There is a book club list as well as other recommended reading for females in the legal profession (seeing as how we law students have SO MUCH free time).  It's always nice to give yourself a break and take some time to remember that you actually enjoy reading and many of the books are excellent selections.

Also, we are having our next meeting this Wednesday at 12:10 pm to discuss the upcoming award reception and our newest fundraising effort in collaboration with Scentsy! Make sure to come to the meeting.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fellowship Fundraiser Starting November 1st

Starting Monday, November 1st, WLA members will be selling Scentsy products. Scentsy produces high-end, beautiful warmers that use a light bulb to melt scented wax instead of the traditional wick and flame. Scentsy products are less dangerous than candles (and much more kid friendly!) and produce a stronger scent. If you are interested in placing an order on-line, please visit: https://michellejones.scentsy.us/Home and select WLA Fundraiser under the drop-down menu entitled My Pending Orders. The fundraiser will close on December 3, 2010.

Additionally, from November 22-December 3, WLA will host a CHRISTMAS SALE EXTRAVAGANZA at the University of Maine School of Law. We will be selling Scentsy products (both directly and by order), Sonia Buck's book "Movie Therapy for Law Students", and WLA T-shirts and pint glasses. If you are interested in purchasing Sonia's book or WLA fare but unable to make it to the fundraiser, please e-mail the Fellowship Coordinator Darcy Mitchell at darcy.a.mitchell@maine.edu.

WLA thanks Scentsy Certified Consultant Michelle Masse Jones for her willingness to sponsor this program. If you are interested in hosting a private party with Michelle, please visit her website listed above.

For any questions about these events, please email darcy.a.mitchell@maine.edu.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


We have secured a representative speaker in our debate with the Federalist Society on October 18, 2010.  The Maine Law WLA proudly announces Sarah Standiford,the Executive Director of the Maine Women's Lobby will be the our speaker in this debate on Feminism. 

The debate will take place on the 18th at noon at the Law School - room assignment TBA.  The Federalist Society has invited Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers to speak on their behalf. Questions for the debate will include one on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Alumna Award Nominees

We have received two new nominations for this year's Alumna Award.   Judge Christine A. Bither and Assistant District Attorney Alice Clifford have been nominated.  Our chair, Elyse Apantaku is making their biographical information available via our facebook group and our google group.  If you would like to be added to the google group, email Elyse and she will add you.

Update: We have received a third nomination, Trish McAllister.  

Thanks to those individuals who nominated these outstanding women.

Monday, September 27, 2010

News for Fall 2010 - Our first meeting of the semester

WLA held our first meeting of the fall semester on Monday, September 20th.  Thanks to all the new members for coming out! Here is some of the information we discussed including goals for the semester and events.

Next Meeting Wednesday, October 13th at 12:10.

Mission Statement: The Women's Law Association developed in response
to the increased awareness of the impact of the law on women and the
impact of the growing number of women attorneys on the law. Through
its educational activities, the WLA encourages the development of a
network among women at the law school, women practitioners in all
branches of the legal field, women in the judiciary, and organizations
in the state that are concerned with issues affecting women.

Things We Do:

Mentor Program
Alumna Award
Fellowship Stipend

Congratulations to Alison Thompson, the recipient of our Fellowship.  Alison was able to use the fellowship to do good work with the Volunteer Lawyers Project over the summer.

Alumna Award voting will take place at our next meeting, the date is noted above.  We have reached out within the law school community to solicit nominations and welcome any from our professional community as well, particularly our mentors out there following our progress.  We are currently planning an Alumna Award reception, tentatively scheduled for early November. 

Dress for Success are having their second clothing sale is on October 2nd at Mill Creek Shopping Center.  There are four donation drop-off days that will each run from 4:00-7:00 PM at the Mill Creek location and they are:  September 22, 23, then 29, and Oct 1st.  All donations are first screened for those items that are immediately needed in the boutique; these items are taken to our office/boutique.  All remaining donated items - dresses, tops, pants, shoes, scarves, jewelry - are included in the sale.

Thanks to everyone who was able to support our fundraising efforts by making it to Sonny's for our event.  We will be planning more events like it to feed the fellowship. 

We are also in the early stages of finding partners to participate in or hold a "Take Back the Night" event to promote awareness and fight domestic violence.  For more information, here is their web address:

Finally, we will be holding a debate with the Federalist Society and are searching for interest from a female attorney in Maine who would be interested in a debate about feminism.  That debate will take place in October.  If anyone has a suggestion or would themself be interested in participating in that debate, please email our chair, Elyse Apantaku.  Her email is elyse.apantaku@maine.edu.

 As always thank you for your continued support! We look forward to a productive, busy semester!