The school now known as University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law began teaching its first students in
1824, making it one of the oldest law schools in the nation. Today, its outstanding faculty, innovative programs, and superb student body make it one of the most vibrant places to study law.
Taking advantage of its location in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Maryland Carey Law has a wealth of opportunities for working and learning as part of state and national legal, political, and business communities. Because of its commitment to integrating theory and practice, Maryland Carey Law offers extensive clinical and experiential learning opportunities, an academically rigorous core curriculum, and specialty programs that are consistently recognized as among the very best in the country.
Maryland Carey Law’s student body is talented, diverse, and collegial. The school’s size and low student-to-faculty ratio create a welcoming community dedicated to fully developing each student’s talents. Our nationally distinctive Cardin Requirement provides that each full-time student will have a faculty-supervised experience providing free legal services to people and organizations that lack access to justice. This requirement helps instill a spirit of public service in all students—regardless of their chosen career path.
Maryland Carey Law students are recruited by many of the nation’s most respected legal employers. Graduates assume positions of leadership as lawyers and judges, business executives and community advocates, legislators and policymakers, and other agents of social, political, and economic progress.
Maryland Carey Law is fully accredited by the ABA, is a member of the AALS, and has a chapter of the Order of the Coif.
Community of Students, Faculty, and Alumni
At Maryland Carey Law, entering students quickly become part of a supportive community. We are diverse in age, gender, race, academic background, ideology, and prior employment, and this diversity is reflected in our students and in our faculty and deans. In the fall of 2015, more than 35 percent of new students identified themselves as persons of color, and approximately one-third came from outside of Maryland, including many from foreign countries. Over 100 undergraduate institutions are represented in our student body, which also includes many students holding prior graduate degrees and even more who have had impressive careers.
Our faculty are national leaders in a wide range of subject areas, and they are readily available to support and advise students. Smaller classes and a 10.3 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio enable close working relationships to develop in a professional and intellectually vibrant setting. Many resources are available to students to ease their transition into law school. Students also directly benefit from a wide network of engaged alumni who occupy positions of professional leadership throughout the state, region, and nation. By acting as mentors, volunteer judges, and adjunct faculty, alumni help connect each student’s law school experience with the professional life of the surrounding legal community.
Maryland Carey Law’s location in the Baltimore-Washington corridor—the country’s second largest market for legal employers—is one of our greatest assets. The law school and library sit just a few blocks from Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor and Camden Yards and, along with the rest of the burgeoning University of Maryland campus, play a vital role in the city’s downtown renaissance.
The law school is also a simple commute via public transportation from Capitol Hill and an easy drive to Maryland’s capital in Annapolis, providing our students unique access to all levels of the federal and state government and judiciary. Students take full advantage of our proximity to Washington, DC, pursuing externships and jobs with leading national law firms, public interest groups, government agencies, and other organizations of prominence. Of course, students also take advantage of the many opportunities in the state of Maryland.
Our proximity to the other professional schools on the University of Maryland, Baltimore, campus allows us to offer an array of interdisciplinary courses and joint-degree programs. These offerings produce sophisticated graduates who are prepared to practice in an environment of increasing complexity.
Law School Complex and Library
The School of Law and the Thurgood Marshall Law Library occupy a modern complex opened in 2002.
Our classrooms and courtrooms are fully equipped with the latest educational technology, as well as Internet access for student use.
The Thurgood Marshall Law Library houses a collection of over 500,000 volumes and equivalents accessible through the online catalog. Areas of particular strength are those that constitute a major component of the law school curriculum or where there is substantial faculty research, including environmental law, civil rights, health law, intellectual property, international law, homeland security, and terrorism. In addition to LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg, the library offers an extensive array of legal and interdisciplinary web-based, electronic databases. Law students also have access to the resources of other university and college libraries in Maryland through a statewide consortium. A staff of 21, including 10 librarians, provides customized reference and consulting services to faculty and students. Seating in the library includes carrels, tables in attractive reading rooms, and comfortable lounge areas, all located in spaces full of natural light.
Curriculum and Specialty Programs
The rigorous core curriculum at Maryland Carey Law forms the basis for more specialized study through over 200 elective courses, seminars, independent studies, simulations, clinics, and externships. The first-year curriculum involves both traditional substantive courses like those at many schools, together with a small section course taught by a full-time faculty member to focus on analytical reasoning and writing. A wide array of upper-level courses in key fields allows students to either sample a range of subject areas, or focus in on a particular area of practice. Research, writing, and advocacy are strong components throughout the program, with introductory and advanced courses to hone these critical skills. A student’s analytical writing culminates in the production of a scholarly paper to satisfy the advanced writing requirement. Many students have gone on to publish and win writing competitions with these papers.
Maryland Carey Law is home to several nationally recognized specialty programs. Four of our specialty programs—Law and Health Care, Environmental Law, Clinical Law, and Advocacy—have long-established national reputations for excellence. Our other specialty areas—business law, intellectual property law, international and comparative law, crisis management, cybersecurity, and women, leadership, and equality—continue
to grow and are on the cutting edge of key issues.
Regardless of what course of study they pursue, students can expect a challenging law school experience that will cultivate depth of understanding and clarity of thought—the hallmarks of the most successful lawyers.
Clinical Law Program, Externships, and Experiential Learning
Through the Cardin Requirement, named after our alumnus US Senator Benjamin Cardin, each full-time day student gains hands-on legal experience by representing actual clients who would otherwise lack access to justice. This program is part of Maryland Carey Law’s commitment to helping students learn to integrate theory and practice, rigorously reflect on their own practice experience, and become lifelong learners committed to and capable of continuing to develop legal skills and knowledge. Each year, our faculty and students provide more than 110,000 hours of free legal services to those in need. They work in nearly every area of law practice.
Our legal clinic, which itself encompasses over 20 separate clinics, is among the oldest, largest, and best. In addition to in-house clinical work, students may gain experience in public and private nonprofit externships in the Baltimore–Washington region.
Dual Degrees and Interdisciplinary Study
Today’s lawyers must practice in an environment of increasing sophistication. Maryland Carey Law offers dual-degree programs in partnership with other leading academic institutions in the region. These programs combine the JD degree with graduate degrees in Business, Community Planning, Criminal Justice, Public Policy, Social Work, Public Health, and Pharmacy.
The Admission Committee selects applicants who have the greatest potential for succeeding in law school studies and whose background, character, and experience will contribute to the diversity that we believe is important to the quality of legal education.
Our evaluation of applications focuses on academic promise (with particular emphasis on the academic record), work experience, leadership qualities, extracurricular pursuits of various kinds, and all aspects of diversity. We require a personal statement and two letters of recommendation; candidates are welcome to provide an optional diversity statement and are encouraged to include explanatory statements when appropriate. First-year students are admitted only for the fall semester. Admission decisions are announced on a rolling basis as decisions are made. We advise applicants to apply as early as September 1 of the year preceding enrollment and before April 1, with early applications encouraged. Applicants are welcome to visit the school to talk with admission staff, but interviews are not required.
The law school is home to more than 40 active and diverse student-run organizations. Students enforce the law school’s honor code, participate in inter- and intraschool advocacy competitions, and volunteer in the local community and around the globe. Students can further their writing and editing expertise by participating on one of the five student-edited scholarly journals or serving as Legal Writing Center Fellows. The Office of Student Affairs provides group and one-on-one academic advising to students at all stages of their legal education, leadership education to student leaders, and financial literacy workshops for all interested students. A state-of-the-art student center on campus provides swimming, weight lifting, cardio, and other athletic and wellness programs. University housing very close to Maryland Carey Law is open to students in all of the UMB schools, providing the opportunity for law students to get to know medical, dental, social work, pharmacy, nursing, and graduate students.
Scholarships and Need-Based Financial Assistance
The Maryland Carey School of Law offers a number of merit-based scholarships as well as traditional need-based financial aid. While a few scholarships require an additional application, all applicants are considered for most merit-based scholarships based on the totality of the information available in the applicant’s admission file and evidence of potential contributions to the academic
community and cocurricular and student-life programs. Such potential should be
clearly described in the personal statement, résumé, and other admission documents.
Applicants must file the FAFSA by March 1 in order to receive optimal
consideration for scholarships or need-based financial assistance.
Students at Maryland Carey Law benefit from the institution’s national reputation and connections to alumni in the private and public sectors in Maryland; Washington, DC; and beyond. The Career Development Office offers a broad range of resources to students and alumni to help them launch a legal job search and obtain employment. Students are strongly encouraged to engage with the Career Development Office early in their law school careers and to work closely with the career professionals in the office.