Maine Supreme Court Justice Lawrence to Speak on Civil Rights and the Courts

ORONO—Maine Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Rick E. Lawrence will share his perspective on civil rights and the courts as part of the 2022 Robert Talbot Civil Rights Speaker Series, to be held Thursday, November 17, at the University of Maine’s Wells Conference Center in Orono.  

Co-hosted by the University of Maine Alumni Association and Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP, the event is open to the public and free of charge, thanks to a grant from Bangor Savings Bank. The program itself will begin at 5:30 p.m., preceded by an informal reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. Due to space limitations, attendees should pre-register at to reserve a seat. 

Lawrence has been a member of Maine’s judiciary since 2000, when then-Gov. Angus King first appointed him to a seven-year term as a Maine District Court judge. He was subsequently reappointed for additional terms by governors John Baldacci, Paul LePage, and Janet Mills. Earlier this year, Mills appointed Lawrence to Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court. He is the first African American to serve in that role. 

Immediately following Lawrence’s remarks, he will be joined by Ukeme Awakessien Jeter and Angela Okafor for a conversation and Q&A about civil rights and the law. Jeter is a 2004 UMaine graduate, attorney, and city councilor in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Okafor is an attorney, businesswoman, and Bangor city councilor.   

Established in 2021 by the University of Maine Alumni Association and the Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP, the Robert Talbot Civil Rights Speaker Series promotes dialogue and engagement to advance equality and justice. The series is named in honor of Robert “Bob” Talbot, a UMaine alumnus and the first executive director of the Maine Human Rights Commission. For decades the Bangor native has been one of Maine’s foremost leaders in the pursuit of racial equality, justice, and non-discriminatory policies and practices.

For more information or to register, visit