Lawyers in Maine make an average of $86,700 with a 10% difference in additional pay. Of course, lawyers working in certain parts of the state made more. For example, lawyers working in the Portland area cade in excess of $100,000 per year. There are only about 4,000 practicing lawyers in the state, so if you would like to join them, here’s what you’ll have to do.
Get a College Education
Although there is no requirement that you obtain a college education, the American Bar Association does require that you get a college education before going to law school. That’s not a huge hurdle as literally 1,000 or more schools are listed in the U.S. Department of Education website of database. No pre-law major in legal studies exists though, so students are free to study whatever course of training they desire. Just some of the course work that will be beneficial for law students are English, government, history, economics, sociology, political science and communications. Although majors in the above studies are beneficial to aspiring law students, they’re encouraged to earn a degree in whatever program that they like. That’s because if a student likes his or her program of study, he or she is going to do well in it. Their grade point average will be healthier and more appealing to law schools too.
The LSAT Admissions Test
As you’ve overcome the first hurdle by getting your degree from an ABA accredited law school, the next step is to obtain a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test. It’s a standardized test about six hours long, and it’s given across the county four times per year. There are five sections to the LSAT, three of which are scored. They follow:
- Logical Reasoning: You’re presented with two short paragraphs, and you must answer questions about them. It involves weakening and strengthening the paragraphs. It might even involve finding the assumption made in the paragraph.
- Analytical Reasoning: These are commonly known has “logic games.” There are four of them, and each one has about seven questions. You must determine which one is true or not true, based on the rules.
- Reading Comprehension: You’ll see about four sections, each divided up into about 600 words. Then, you’ll find about seven questions per section. You’ll be identifying the main point in each paragraph and identify the main point in every passage. Then, you make inference on every passage in order to answer the questions.
- Experimental Portion: You’ll be given one of the three above tests which won’t be scored, but you won’t be told which section will be scored. You must still do your best on the test because of this fact.
- Writing Sample: All test takers must do this. They’ll answer a specific essay question, but their answers will only be released to the schools that they apply to.
Discover more LSAT resources and prep materials here.
You go through the Law School Admission Council to take the LSAT. The cost is $195 and $45 per school that you will apply to. Arrangements can be made online to take the LSAT through the LSAC. Payment can be made there too. It takes about three weeks to get your test results from LSAC. 120 las the lowest possible score, and 180 was the highest. The median test score at the University of Maine was 156 in 2021.
Taking a Class on the LSAT
Passing the LSAT is a milestone in and of itself. Many possible lawyers just don’t make the cut. Part of that reason is that they don’t study for the LSAT. Taking the test seriously required. There are commercial test preparation businesses out there who can help you get the scores that you need. Take a class on taking the LSAT. You’ll find it most beneficial, along with the free materials that you’ll get anyway.
Law Schools in Maine
There’s only one ABA accredited law school in Maine, and that’s at the University of Maine. There are more than 200 other ABA accredited law schools in the United States though. If you don’t limit yourself geographically, the chances are that somebody is going to want you.
Going to Law School
This is the next step. You’ll be in need of the Credential Assembly Service. You’ll find it to be invaluable. It will gather your transcripts from all institutions that you’ve attended along with letters of recommendation and other documents and forward them to the schools you applied to. There is a cost of $195, plus $45 per school for up to three schools that you apply to. Additional schools will be $45 each.
Taking the Maine State Bar Exam
This should be your last step in the process to becoming a lawyer in Maine. The cost is $600 and it’s given in July and February. Applications must be filed to take the exam in February between October 15 and December 20. For the July exam, applications must be filed by March 15, and no later than May 20. Much like the process to get you into law school, there’s also a process to get you out of it too. That process begins with another preparation class, but this time, its for the Maine bar exam. No matter what ABA accredited law school that you go to, just ask around during your third year of law school, and you’ll see what class the overwhelming majority of students will be taking. Take that one too. You’ll stand a much better chance of passing the bar exam by taking that class. Use every minute of every day on it. Take the free exams too.
The Bar Exam
Maine gives the Uniform Bar Exam. It consists of the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). It’s taken over a two-day period, and the partis include the following:
- MBE is six hours of 200 questions. 100 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon.
- MPT is 90 minutes with one performance question.
- MEE is six 30-minute essay questions.
In addition to the foregoing, you must also take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. A score of at least 80 must be had before admission to the Maine bar can occur. The pass rate for the July, 2022, bar exam was 70%. It takes about 75 days for Maine to mail out bar exam results to you. With your results will be instructions on the ceremony. Congratulations! You’re now a lawyer.