Ralph I. Lancaster, Jr. was born on May 5, 1930, in Bangor, Maine, to Ralph I. Lancaster, Sr. and Mary Kelleher Lancaster. He was reared in Bangor by Bridget and Charles Mylan. He attended high school at John Bapst and went on to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, being graduated in 1952 with a degree in English and a minor in history. He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School, then was drafted and spent two years in the Army. He returned to Maine to clerk for Judge Gignoux and remained in that position for two years. Then he was offered a position at the law firm Hutchinson Pierce, where he remained at the time of this interview (now Pierce Atwood) as a trial lawyer.
Interview includes discussion of: growing up in Bangor; Holy Cross and Harvard Law School; Lancaster’s experience in the Army; clerkship with Judge Gignoux; the University of Maine Law School and the overabundance of lawyers in parts of Maine; how Lancaster came to work for Hutchinson Pierce (now Pierce Atwood); being a trial lawyer and a Maine lawyer; how Judge Gignoux was selected, his attributes, and occasions when he would sit in other locations around the country; George Mitchell’s appointment to the federal judgeship in Maine; Lancaster’s reaction to Mitchell’s appointment to Muskie’s U.S. Senate seat; Supreme Court consideration; how the practice of law has changed in Maine; the degree to which education prepares a lawyer for his or her work and the need for hands-on experience; and Lancaster’s views on lawyers advertising.
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