Livermore woman is one of the youngest people to graduate law school in Maine

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Jul. 7—TURNER — Mikala L. Holt of Livermore set her sights on being a lawyer when she was in elementary school. At age 23, she has achieved that goal.

She is one of the youngest graduates of the University of Maine School of Law, Alexandra Moras, director of communications and websites for the university, wrote in an email.

Holt was sworn in as a lawyer on June 30 by Justice Catherine Connors of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. It was the first in-person swearing in in 18 months because of COVID 19, Mikala said.

When she was a child, Holt initially thought she wanted to be a veterinarian but when she realized what it entailed she changed her mind and started thinking about being a lawyer, she said.

"My dad (Mark Holt) actually told me from a very young age that I was going to make a great lawyer some day," Mikala said. "He always encouraged me."

She was inquisitive and liked to debate.

As a senior at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay, she took advanced placement courses at the school and online courses from Husson University and the University of Maine at Fort Kent. She graduated from high school in 2016 and had already gotten a lot of her core college classes behind her.

She earned her bachelor's degree in two years at Husson and was accepted to law school at age 19.

With the program of studies she took at Husson, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in prelaw legal studies and also received a paralegal certificate.

She began law school in the fall of 2018.

"I did law school in two-and-a-half years instead of three," Holt said. "I graduated in January 2021." '

She took her uniform bar exam in February and passed.

"I took classes year-round and didn't take a semester off," she said Wednesday sitting in the conference room of Boothby, Silver & Ricker law firm in Turner.

Holt started working for lawyer L. Clinton Boothby of Livermore on June 30, 2014. Her father had suggested she reach out him.

"I just wanted to job shadow and he offered me an internship," she said.

He has been her mentor ever since.

She had just turned 16 and did some filing, answered some phone calls and did associated tasks.

"I think when I really decided I wanted to be a lawyer was when my nana had cancer," she said.

Boothby met with Holt's grandmother and her family.

"I just know how I felt seeing somebody come and want to help," she said.

Holt has assisted Boothby in estate planning, probate and real estate cases.

"I have always had a deep connection with the elderly and wanted to make a difference," she said. "I have always loved working here as an intern and legal assistant. I just wanted to be that attorney that helped ease the burden."

She assists Boothby and lawyers Victoria Silver and Kendall Ricker in the office.

Holt said she believes she struck a good balance of school work, family time and work.

Her parents, Mark and Lisa, have been very supportive all through her life, school and college and now as a lawyer, she said.

"I just want to help people in their time of need," she said.

Finally being able to put esquire following her name "definitely feels surreal."

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