Francis King Carey School of Law

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law has a long tradition of excellence and innovation in legal education. Unique among law schools nationally, the School of Law is home to the Cardin Requirement, named for U. S. Senator Benjamin Cardin, ’67. For more than 22 years, the Requirement has provided that, as a prerequisite to graduation, each student who initially enrolls as a first year, full-time day student must have a for-credit experience providing free legal services to people who are poor or otherwise lack access to justice. Courses that satisfy the Cardin Requirement—offered through the nationally recognized Clinical Law Program—integrate theory and practice. While skill development is an important component of these courses, they focus more strongly on helping students a professional identity valuing service to the poor and other underrepresented persons and communities, and engaging in active critique and reflection of how the law and legal institutions operate for those who are most in need. Analytical and reflective writing is a key requirement in every Cardin course. As a result of this Requirement, each year more than 250 students and 25 faculty members working in nearly every practice area contribute over 110,000 hours of free legal service to the people of Maryland. 

UM Carey School of Law has important initiatives in leadership, ethics and professionalism. It has just completed the three-year Leadership, Ethics and Democracy (LEAD) Initiative in partnership with the Fetzer Institute. A collection of courses and projects, the LEAD initiative sought to develop a leadership curriculum for law schools, and to integrate teaching professionalism in new ways throughout the curriculum. UM Carey Law houses the Women, Leadership and Equality Program to develop leadership skills for the advancement of women in law practice. It is working to launch a new Ethics in Action and to begin to develop a campus-wide interdisciplinary center on professionalism.