Janet Mills became Maine’s first female Attorney General in January 2009. Her primary areas of focus while representing the state and its residents as Attorney General have included enforcing child support services, safeguarding consumers from fraud, protecting civil rights, increasing transparency, and prosecuting homicide and drug cases. She brings a wide range of experience to the job, including past work as a District Attorney, a private-practice attorney, a law professor, and a member of the Maine legislature.
Early Life and Education
Mills was born in Farmington, Maine, to Katharine and S. Peter Mills II, a teacher and US Attorney respectively. She graduated from Farmington High School and attended Colby College before finishing her undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Mills went on to obtain her JD from the University of Maine School of Law, where she served as an editor of the Maine Law Review.
In the 1970s, Mills began advocating for women, and pushed Maine legislators to shelter victims of domestic assault. Her early involvement in women’s rights included co-founding the Maine Women’s Lobby.
After graduating law school, Mills served as Assistant Attorney General from 1976 to 1980, prosecuting homicides and other violent crimes and major felonies. In 1980, she was elected District Attorney for the counties of Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford; she was the first woman District Attorney in New England, and was reelected to the position three times.
From 1995 through 2008, Janet Mills and her brother, State Senator Peter Mills, worked together in private practice. She was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2002 to represent the towns of Farmington and Industry.
In December 2008, the Maine Joint Covenant of the Legislature elected Mills as the state’s first female Attorney General. Her first term lasted from January 2009 to January 2011. Mills was again elected Attorney General in December 2012, 2014, and 2016. During her brief hiatus from service as Attorney General in 2011 and 2012, she taught criminal law at the University of Maine, Augusta, and joined the litigation group at a private law firm.
Throughout her time as Attorney General, Mills has taken on major companies and big industries to protect Mainers and hold those who violate the law accountable. Mills believes in and advocates for transparent government. She even took legal action against Maine’s governor and administration for violating public access laws. Recently, she also joined the national fight against several drug companies that have allegedly conspired to manipulate diabetes medication prices. Mills has also worked with homeowners and lenders to help implement the National Mortgage Settlement to protect homeowners in her state.
Janet Mills was married for 29 years to Stanley Kuklinski before he passed away in September 2014. She has five stepdaughters and three grandsons and lives in Farmington.