Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Portland, Maine
If you want to be a lawyer, the Portland, Maine area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 2,940 working lawyers in Maine; this should grow by 6% to about 3,110 working lawyers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for lawyers are expected to grow by about 13.0%. In general, lawyers represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions.
Lawyers earn approximately $36 per hour or $75,580 per year on average in Maine. Nationally they average about $53 per hour or $110,590 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Representation, people working as lawyers in Maine earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Representation nationally. Lawyers work in a variety of jobs, including: city solicitor, foreign law consultant, and entertainment lawyer.
The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a lawyer. The most common level of education for lawyers is a Law degree. It will take about three years to learn to be a lawyer if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or about seven years if you have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Lawyer
In general, lawyers represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. They also may specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Lawyers study Constitution and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to establish ramifications for cases. They also represent clients in court or before government agencies. Equally important, lawyers have to analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents. They are often called upon to interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses. They are expected to talk with colleagues with specialties in appropriate areas of legal issue to determine and verify bases for legal proceedings. Finally, lawyers advise clients concerning business transactions, claim liability, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits, or legal rights and obligations.
Every day, lawyers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.
It is important for lawyers to examine legal data to establish advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit. They are often called upon to supervise legal assistants. They also gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions, by such means as interviewing clients and witnesses to ascertain the facts of a case. They are sometimes expected to ready legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal. Somewhat less frequently, lawyers are also expected to search for and examine public and other legal records to write opinions or establish ownership.
They also have to be able to probate wills and represent and advise executors and administrators of estates and act as agent or executor for businesses or individuals. And finally, they sometimes have to help design federal and state programs, draft and interpret laws and legislation, and establish enforcement procedures.
Like many other jobs, lawyers must have exceptional integrity and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:
- Administrative Law Judge. Conduct hearings to decide or recommend decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters and prepare decisions. Determine penalties or the existence and the amount of liability, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims, or compromise settlements.
- Arbitrator. Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
- Judge. Arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May issue marriage licenses and perform wedding ceremonies.
- Legal Assistant. Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
- Paralegal. Assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. May meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Lawyer Training
University of Southern Maine - Portland, ME
University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103. University of Southern Maine is a large university located in Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,930 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Southern Maine has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated seventy-two students in 2008.
Accredited Tax Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including ownership of closely held businesses, qualified retirement plans and complex estates.
For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.
Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.
For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.
Board Certification in Social Security Disability: The comprehensive legal practice of counseling and representing persons with disabilities and their representatives about their rights to receive benefits from the social security administration.
For more information, see the National Board of Legal Speciality Certification website.
Licensing agency: Maine Board of Bar Examiners
Address: P.O. Box 30, Whitten Road, Augusta, ME 04332-0030
Phone: (207) 623-2464
Website: Maine Board of Bar Examiners
LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Maine
Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.
The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.
Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.