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University of Maryland (School of Law)

Turning law students into exceptional lawyers is our first priority. One constant in the history of the University of Maryland School of Law is our pride in our identity-we are the best at what we do, and we provide our students with a distinctive educational experience:

We have one of the best student/faculty ratios in the country-12:1. This allows us to offer a small section program to all first-year students, as well as extensive training in research, legal analysis and writing. Large classes usually have no more than 50 - 75 students, and the number of small seminars rival schools with much larger student bodies. The result: our students receive a remarkable degree of personalized attention from our faculty.

We believe classroom learning is not enough, and we excel at providing experiential learning opportunities for our students. The Clinical Law Program-nationally recognized among the best in the country-is offering 22 clinical specialties in 2006-2007 and every one of our students is afforded the opportunity to enroll.

Our Health Care Law and Environmental Law Programs are nationally recognized as top programs in the country. Programs in Intellectual Property, Business Law, International and Comparative Law and Women, Leadership & Equality are flourishing. A number of public service and research centers provide our students ample access to interdisciplinary education and cutting-edge research, along with the opportunity to observe and influence the making of public policy.

There are many more reasons that your educational experience at the School of Law will be unique: our state-of-the-art building and its location on an urban campus that includes other professional schools and academic centers, a Career Development Office that offers exceptionally diverse job placement services, a winning National Trial Team and three, beautiful, new court rooms in which to practice. The list goes on.

Turning law students into exceptional lawyers is our first priority.

A strong core curriculum ensures that all students receive a solid grounding in fundamental skills and the substantive law of Civil Procedure, Torts, Property, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Professional Responsibility. Each incoming student participates in the LAWR Program, an intensive three semester sequence in research, legal analysis and writing.

Classroom learning is not enough. Unique among all law schools in the country, the Cardin Requirement provides each student an experiential learning opportunity aimed at understanding the operation of law for those who are disenfranchised and lack access to justice. Our Clinical Law Program - nationally ranked among the best in the country - is currently offering 24 courses and every one of our students is afforded the opportunity to enroll. A rich array of externships expands the School of Law's experiential learning opportunities.

Certificate Programs in Law and Health Care and in Environmental Law are nationally ranked in the top five such programs in the country. Programs in Intellectual Property, Business Law, International Law, and Women, Leadership & Equality, as well as a number of public service and research centers, provide students an array of opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research and influence public policy. Four student-edited scholarly journals give students the chance hone their writing skills and explore complex legal issues in depth.

We have one of the best student/faculty ratios in the country - 12.3:1. Large classes usually have no more than 50 - 75 students and the number of small seminars rival schools with much larger student bodies. As a result, students receive a remarkable degree of personalized attention from our faculty.

Our state of the art facility, the Nathan Patz Law Center, boasts three beautiful court rooms and an expansive legal clinic space with client and student practice areas. The latest technology in classrooms, and in student practice makes innovative teaching methods a regular part of the curriculum.

A fundamental purpose of law and legal institutions is to pursue justice. The School of Law - and the lawyers and legal educators that make up its faculty and staff - bear a special responsibility for ensuring and enhancing the quality of justice in society. Enhancing the legal system's ability to pursue justice is an important institutional mission.

The core of this commitment is expressed in the curriculum through the Cardin Requirement. Unique among law schools nationally, the Cardin Requirement provides that each student learn how the law operates in practice by providing legal services to people who are poor, socially disadvantaged or otherwise lack access to justice. Through wide array of clinical courses and legal theory and practice courses students learn to analyze current legal delivery systems and to critique prevailing legal doctrine, policy and process. Through these courses, students and faculty contribute more than 110,000 hours of free legal services to the citizens of Maryland annually.

The School of Law's commitment to and support of the pursuit of justice extends beyond this core curricular requirement. Four academic specialty centers in intellectual property, mediation, health and homeland security and tobacco control each have a public service mission, operating as a resource to national and local communities on these issues. Public conferences for the academic community, bench and bar address critical issues facing the legal system. A wide array of student organizations support public service projects, helping students make a difference in the local community. The student-run Maryland Public Interest Law Project provides summer grants for students to work at public interest organizations.

To solve the complex problems facing our society, lawyers must draw upon the knowledge of other disciplines. Familiarity with other disciplines - including humanities, science, economics, and social science - is necessary to analyze adequately cutting edge issues in environmental law, intellectual property, business transactions, public policy and virtually every area of legal practice.

The School of Law is uniquely located on an urban professional campus with schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and social a short walk away. As a public law school located on an urban professional campus, we act as a catalyst for the interdisciplinary teaching and research necessary to understand and to respond to these real world issues and opportunities.

A variety of dual degree programs with affiliated institutions allow students to develop dual competencies in allied fields. For example, students may combine work on their juris doctor degree with a master of public health (MPH), master of science in risk assessment through the School of Medicine toxicology program, master of business administration (MBA), master of social work (MSW), and master of arts in liberal education (MA), to name just a few options.

Interdisciplinary study is not limited to joint degree programs. Advanced seminars on a variety of topics involve work with allied disciplines. Law students and medical students explore health policy problems. Students from a variety scientific disciplines investigate the interaction of law and science in environmental rule-making. Social work students and law students work together on behalf of clients in our clinical law courses. The law schools interdisciplinary centers provide opportunities for law students and faculty to collaborate with professionals in other disciplines including public health, business, engineering, and medicine to address real world problems that require multidisciplinary solutions.

For the legal system to function effectively, the profession must reflect the intellectual and cultural diversity that characterizes this nation. It is the School of Law's institutional conviction that diversity of perspectives - shaped by economic or cultural background, by race, by gender, by disability and by philosophical outlook -- is an essential ingredient of the educational process. If the ideals of justice and the rule of law are to retain their power, then legal education must attract people who can challenge each other's ideas and perceptions and who can draw upon each other's strengths in resolving disputes and building consensus within a plurality of perspectives.

This commitment to diversity is manifest in a variety of ways. Each year approximately 30% of our entering class is comprised of people of color. Hailing from on average more than 25 states and several foreign countries, the class typically represents more than 130 undergraduate institutions and ranges in age from 20 to 50. The same diversity is reflected in our faculty and deans. Of our 58 full-time faculty members, 24 are women and 12 are people of color.

From this diversity, the School of Law works to build a true sense of community. A panoply of student organizations add to this rich community sense. Students with similar backgrounds and experiences gather to encourage, mentor and build their own sense of community within the 35 student led journals, the moot court board and student organizations.

The academic program of the University of Maryland School of Law is designed to help students acquire the four basic characteristics of the well-educated lawyer: knowledge, professionalism, a broad perspective on the social implications of legal issues and the ability to communicate effectively. Fundamental to each of these characteristics is the development of certain habits of mind crucial to thinking like a lawyer: clarity, precision and analytical skill.

The full-time faculty, who teach both day and evening courses, are teacher-scholar-practitioners whose varied backgrounds and experiences bring differing perspectives to the classroom. Those different experiences and perspectives are further augmented by members of the bar and bench who serve as adjunct faculty teaching courses in their areas of specialization. The student-faculty ratio of approximately 14 to 1 provides for a supportive academic and professional relationship in which students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Thorough training in certain basic areas of law is the foundation of a sound legal education. Required courses in the first and second years include: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property and Torts. Courses in Legal Profession and Advanced Legal Research also are required for upper level students.

All full-time day students are required to fulfill the Cardin Requirement by taking one of several designated offerings integrating traditional classroom learning with live client representation under the close supervision of experienced faculty practitioners. These courses introduce students to professional roles and responsibilities through the supervised provision of legal services to the underrepresented. Live client representation courses also are available to, but not required of, evening students.

Because writing and analysis are such important components of good legal education, students have many legal writing opportunities, both required and elective. The Legal Analysis, Writing and Research (LAWR) program engages students in increasingly complex writing assignments throughout their first three semesters. Electives annually include more than forty upper-level writing seminars, and students must fulfill an advanced writing requirement that entails preparing a substantial paper analyzing in depth a particular legal or law-related problem. The law school's Writing Center provides students with all levels of writing skills the opportunity to enhance those skills under the supervision of the faculty director and with the assistance of students trained as Writing Fellows.

Co-curricular activities provide additional opportunities for students to enhance their writing and advocacy skills. The School of Law supports four student edited journals, The Journal of Business and Technology Law, The Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, The Maryland Journal on Race, Class, Religion and Gender, and the Maryland Law Review. The student Moot Court Board sponsors and supervises a broad range of intra- and inter-school programs in written and oral advocacy.

Through a broad range of electives, the curriculum provides students with opportunities for in depth study in many areas of law. Our certificate programs in environmental law and health law receive national recognition as does our Clinical Law Program. In-class and practice-based education in business, constitutional, criminal, family, intellectual property, and international law, as well as legal theory, legislation, litigation, public interest, tax law and others provide the basis for a sound legal education preparing our graduates for leadership roles in the legal, business and public policy arenas. Dual degree programs and interdisciplinary study further prepare our graduates for the real-life interplay between legal and other professionals.

The Clinical Law Program upholds the school's Cardin Requirement and covers the integration of theory and practice through its in-house public interest law firm. Student attorneys represent clients under the close and supportive supervision of faculty practitioners, which enables students to continue the transition from learning to be a lawyer to being a lawyer.

Clinic practice specialties provide a rich variety of experiences, focusing on civil and criminal litigation, advice and counseling, and transactional work. Civil practice has included specialization in environmental law, health, housing and community development, juvenile law and children, AIDS, and immigration. Criminal practice student attorneys often represent defendants in misdemeanor cases in Maryland's district courts, as well as work in our community justice efforts.

The School of Law is housed in the new, state-of-the-art facility, the Nathan Patz Law Center. Opened in 2002, the Patz Center boasts three moot court rooms, including the Ceremonial Moot Court Room where state and federal trial and appellate courts regularly sit in residence to hear live cases. Equipped with smart podiums, document cameras and complete audio-visual systems, both classrooms and courtrooms permit faculty and students to use the latest technology in teaching and learning. Every seat in the building -- including student lounge areas -- is wired for access to the internet and School of Law network resources. In the Clinical Law Program practice suite, students work in confidential, restricted access practice rooms and are assigned work stations with the latest law practice and electronic case management technology. For research and study, in addition to using their own notebook computers, students can use computer workstations in the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Technology Assisted Learning (TAL) Center. Students learn legal research strategies and skills in the state of the art TAL Center Classroom.

The School of Law was designed to provide dignified and easy accessibility to all of its facilities for people with mobility impairments. Ramps, automatic doors, and specially designed classroom podiums, seating and tables provide seemless access for students and faculty using wheechairs. Audio and visual equipment assists students with auditory and visual impairments.

An outdoor courtyard and fountain area, together with a coffee bar area give students areas to meet, relax or study. The School of Law campus is also home to Westminter Hall, an historic early Gothic Revival church that has been restored as a venue for Law School, campus and private events. Adjacent is the Westminster burying ground, the burial site for Edgar Allan Poe and a great number of famous Marylanders.

School name:University of MarylandSchool of Law
Address:500 W. Baltimore Street
Zip & city:MD 21201-1786 Maryland

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