Bowdoin College, Coffin, Frank, Judgeship, Legal career, Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), U.S. Attorney
George Steven Isaacson was born in New York on October 20, 1948, and grew up in Auburn, Maine. His father worked in a lumber business in Livermore Falls with his uncles. George was graduated from Bowdoin College and attended law school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he met his future wife, Margaret. After graduating, he clerked for Judge Thomas E. Delahanty and then went to work for a law firm in Portland, Maine. George Mitchell interviewed him for an attorney’s position with Jensen Baird law firm. At the time of this interview, he was a senior partner at Brann and Isaacson in Lewiston, Maine, an adjunct professor at Bowdoin College, and a lecturer at the University of Maine School of Law.
Margaret (McGaughey) Isaacson was born in Detroit, Michigan, on May 29, 1948. She lived in New York, attended college in California and law school at the University of Pennsylvania. Margaret practiced law in Boston for four years and then accepted a clerkship with Frank Coffin in Maine. When George Mitchell was appointed U.S. attorney and permitted a third assistant U.S. attorney position, Margaret was hired. At the time of this interview, Margaret had served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for thirty-two years.
Interview includes discussion of: George’s childhood in Auburn; growing up Jewish in Auburn; Margaret’s childhood; their meeting in law school; George’s clerkship in Maine; George’s recollections of Mitchell at Jensen Baird; Margaret’s moving to Maine for a clerkship with Frank Coffin and then as assistant U.S. attorney under Mitchell; the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Jim Brannigan; Mitchell’s management style; anecdote about Margaret’s working on drug cases with Mitchell; Mitchell’s appointment to federal judgeship; Mitchell’s 1974 gubernatorial campaign; Mitchell and rumors about the Supreme Court; Mitchell’s talent for litigation and his process in preparing a case; and Bowdoin College.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.