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The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law was established in 1816 and began regular instruction in 1824. It is the third-oldest law school in the nation, but its innovative programs make it one of the liveliest and most dynamic today. UM Carey Law stands among five other professional schools on the Founding Campus of the University of Maryland. It has taken advantage of this location to become an integral part of the Baltimore-Washington legal and business community.
The University of Maryland School of Law was authorized by the Maryland legislature in 1813 and began regular instruction in 1824. It is one of the oldest law schools in the nation, but its innovative programs make it one of the liveliest and most dynamic today. Maryland Law stands among five other professional schools on the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus. It has taken advantage of this location to become an integral part of the Baltimore-Washington legal and business community.
At the beginning of the 19th century, an aspiring lawyer would master the profession through an apprenticeship with an experienced member of the Bar. In Maryland, a prolific legal writer and commentator named David Hoffman helped to formalize legal instruction by persuading the state legislature to found the Law Institute at the University of Maryland.
Hoffman's contribution to legal instruction included a comprehensive Course of Legal Study, whose influence extended well beyond Maryland. The Hoffman program was quickly adopted by other law school professors around the country. Hoffman was also an early advocate of promoting ethical behavior among lawyers, giving rise to his enduring reputation as the father of American legal ethics.
Through Hoffman's influence, instruction at Maryland's first law school began in 1824. After a hiatus, it resumed in earnest in 1868 and has continued to grow in breadth and recognition to the present day.
The School of Law's experiential programs are among the most extensive in the country. Through our nationally recognized Clinical Law Program, students can enroll in an array of courses to represent a criminal defendant, an emerging business owner, someone with HIV/AIDS, an environmental group, a disabled person, or perhaps a scientist wanting to patent a new drug. Students meet regularly with their professors to review the professional, ethical, and practical issues raised by their work. They also explore the connections between what is taught in the classroom and the practice of law as they are experiencing it.
The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the 2016 entering class.
|Director of admissions||Katrin Hussmann Schroll|
|Application deadline||April 1|
Law School Admissions details based on 2016 data.
*Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.
|Approximate number of applications||1726|
The above admission details are based on 2016 data.
|Tuition and fees Full-time:||$31,380 per year (in-state)
$45,399 per year (out-of-state)
|Tuition and fees Part-time:||$21,237 per year (in-state)
$30,363 per year (out-of-state
|Room and board||$19,350|
Class rank is only calculated at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Students who take summer school classes are not issued a new class rank in August, they must wait until December to receive a new rank which factors in their summer grades. Students changing divisions, for example from day to evening, will be ranked with that new division at the end of the next semester. Grades processed after the availability of class rank (e.g., due to completion of work under a grade of Incomplete) will be included in the determination of class rank only in the next semester.
Class rank for graduates is determined in May of each year. It includes day, evening and part time day graduates from May of that year as well as the graduates from the preceding December and July graduation dates.
The chart below has been developed in response to student and employer requests for information about the School of Law’s grading scale. It will be updated and posted after each semester's grading is complete. Please recognize that the numbers will change from semester to semester, and that students switching from one division to another will be ranked in their new division at the end of that semester.
A letter grading system is used, in which each letter grade is awarded points on a four-point scale for purposes of computing grade point averages:
|Letter Grade||Points Awarded for Grade|
|W, WA, WD|
|CR, NC||The grade CR (credit) or NC (no credit) as the case may be, will be recorded on the student’s academic record. Neither grade will have an impact on the cumulative grade point average, but only the CR grade will cause credits to be earned toward degree requirements.|
Grade Point Calculation
Grade point averages (GPA) are computed by multiplying the point equivalent for the letter grade for each course by its weight in semester hours, adding the products for each course, and dividing the sum by the number of semester hours taken. Grades are rounded to two decimal points. Students should not report self-calculated GPA's; use the GPA found on SURFS. When a course is repeated, the new grade, whether higher or lower, and credits replace the old grade and credits in the student's grade point average; however, both grades remain on the student's transcript, with the notation ' R' (the course was repeated) next to the first grade.
Grading in Year-long Courses
Grading in year-long courses, such as Clinics, and Trial Planning & Advocacy, is as follows: at the end of the fall semester, the student will receive a grade of NM indicating that no grade is available; at the end of the spring semester the student will receive a letter grade for all work done in the clinic/course. On the student’s transcript, this letter grade will be listed for each semester according to the number of credits attributed to each semester and it will replace the NM originally listed at the end of the fall semester. A student who is permitted to withdraw from the School of Law after completing one semester may receive a grade for the work done during the semester.
The grade I (incomplete) is given only to students who have a proper excuse for failure to present themselves for examinations or to complete any other work that may be required by the instructor in time for the instructor to complete grading by the grading due date. It is not used to signify work of inferior quality. A grade of incomplete may not be carried for more than one semester without the approval of the Director of Registration & Enrollment. An incomplete grade given at the end of the spring semester or summer session must be converted to a letter grade by the end of the subsequent fall semester, and an incomplete grade given at the end of the fall semester must be converted to a letter grade at the end of the subsequent spring semester. An incomplete grade not converted to a letter grade within these time limits, and for which the Director of Registration & Enrollment has not granted an extension, shall be converted to an F (0.00). The grade I (incomplete) will remain on the transcript even after the work has been completed.
If a student withdraws or is excluded from the law school, these periods of limitation regarding an incomplete shall be suspended while the student is absent from the school. Any grade of incomplete remaining at the time a student is certified for graduation shall be change to an F (0.00). The Director of Registration & Enrollment will approve the extension of an incomplete only in extraordinary circumstances.
Withdrawal from Courses
“W” reflects a student’s withdrawal from a course, either voluntary or required after the add/drop period. “WA” reflects a student having been withdrawn administratively and “WD” indicates a student’s withdrawal from school.
Credit/No Credit Option
Subject to the right of the person teaching the course to require that all students take the course on a graded basis, a student may elect to take a course, other than a required course, on a credit/no credit basis, but only for one course on one occasion during the student’s law career. An instructor who wishes to require that all students take the course on a graded basis must notify the Office of Registration & Enrollment of this requirement in time for it to be inserted into the registration materials for the semester in which the course is to be offered.
A student who wishes to elect to take a course on a credit/no credit basis must file his or her election with the Office of Registration & Enrollment prior to submitting work for a grade or sitting for an exam (this does not apply to class participation in course where it comprises a portion of the student’s grade) or by the date announced by the Office of Registration and Enrollment, whichever is earliest. As part of this election, the student may specify that if the student receives a grade at or above a particular level, the student will receive that grade, rather than receiving “credit” for the course. In the absence of such a specification, a student who properly elects to take a course on a credit/no credit basis will receive “credit” for the course if the earned grade in the course is at least C- (1.67); otherwise, the student will receive “no credit” for the course. However, a student who properly elects to take a course on a credit/no credit basis and who receives a grade below C- in the course will be so notified and then can elect, in the time and manner prescribed by the Office of Registration & Enrollment, to take the grade in the course instead of the “no credit.”
The grade CR (credit) or NC (no credit) as the case may be, will be recorded on the student’s academic record. Neither grade will have an impact on the cumulative grade point average, but only the CR grade will cause credits to be earned toward degree requirements.
A student may not elect the CR/NC option more than once. That is, a CR/NC election with or without a specified minimum grade would count as the student’s one CR/NC election, and a student who receives the grade, rather than a designation of CR, may not use the CR/NC option again.
A student may report his or her grade point average as a letter grade in accord with the following chart:
|If, on the four-point scale, a student’s cumulative G.P.A. is from||The student may report on his or her resume a letter grade of|
On your resume, you can represent your GPA numerically or as a letter grade, or both. (GPA: 3.84 or GPA: A) If you represent your GPA numerically, you must use the exact information reflected on your official transcript, carried out to the one-hundredths place (see the example above).
You are not required to indicate the 4.33 grading scale with your numeric GPA but if you do choose to report the grading scale, you must use the 4.33 scale reflected on your transcript. (GPA: 3.84/4.33) It is extremely important that you represent your GPA accurately on your résumé and other documents you may submit to employers. Any error in reporting your grades will be perceived negatively by employers. Moreover, any inaccuracy regarding your grades may be construed as a misrepresentation of your credentials, which may result in an Honor Code violation.
|Order of the Coif||Order of the Coif is awarded to students who are in the top 10% of the graduating class and who have completed at least seventy-five percent of their requirements at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.|
|Summa cum laude||Summa cum laude is awarded to the top five students in the graduating class.|
|Magna cum laude||Magna cum laude is awarded to the students in the top 10% of the graduating class.|
|Cum laude||Cum laude is awarded to the students in the top 1/3 of the graduating class.|
|Name of Award||Awarded for/to|
|The William Strobel Thomas Prize||is awarded to the graduate who has taken at least 75% or his or her school credits at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and who is recognized by the faculty has having achieved the highest average for scholarship.|
|The John L. Thomas Prize||is awarded to the graduate who has been enrolled in the school for his or her entire law school education and who has achieved the second highest average for scholarship.|
|The Sam Allen Memorial Prize||is awarded annually to a member of the graduating class deemed to have demonstrated outstanding qualities of both leadership and scholarship.|
|The Roger Howell Achievement Award||is presented annually to an outstanding member of the graduating class who has contributed significantly to the student activities program and whose leadership, scholarship, and moral character are representative of the high ideals of the legal profession.|
|The Law School Alumni Association Award||The prize is awarded to the graduating student deemed by the faculty to have contributed most largely to the School through his or her qualities of character and leadership.|
|The Larry P. Shoda Award||is given annually to a member of the graduating class who has achieved scholastic excellence and demonstrated the special commitment required of evening students.|
|Elizabeth Maxwell Carroll Chesnut Prize||is given to a member of the graduating class for good scholarship in a broad sense, as determined by the Dean of the School Law based on recommendations from members of the faculty|
|The Public Service Award||is given to several graduating students who, during their law school careers, have engaged in legal work that significantly advances the public interest.|
|The William P. Cunningham Awards||are presented annually to graduating students selected by the faculty for exceptional achievements and service to the School.|
|THE ORDER OF THE BARRISTERS||honors ten students who excel in trial and appellate advocacy.|
|The University of Maryland School of law litigation and advocacy award||is given annually to graduating students selected by the faculty for their contribution to the School's achievements in intra- and inter-school appellate competition.|
|Anne Barlow Gallagher Prize for Service to Children and Youth||is awarded by the clinical faculty to the graduating student who has performed outstanding work benefiting youth and children.|
|The Hoffberger Clinical Law Prize||is awarded annually to an outstanding member of the graduating class who has excelled as a student lawyer in the Clinical Law Program.|
|The Community Scholar Prize||is presented to a graduate who provided outstanding assistance to a Maryland community or neighborhood.|
|The Joseph Bernstein Awards||are awarded annually to the graduating students who, as judged by the faculty advisor, submitted the most significant piece of legal writing for publication in each of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law student-edited journals.|
|Paul Cordish Writing Competition Awards||Prizes are given annually to the students who write the best paper on a topic related to public insurance adjusting.|
The School of Law is home to five student edited scholarly journals covering a diverse array of content areas. These journals provide students in-depth writing and editing experiences, the chance to work with distinguished academic authors both from the School of Law and from schools across the country, and the opportunity to compete to publish their own academic writing.
First published in 1936, the Maryland Law Review is the oldest journal at the University of Maryland School of Law and the pre-eminent student authority on developments in Maryland case law in the State of Maryland. Ranked among the top tier of national law reviews, the Maryland Law Review is also a respected voice on federal law in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
The Journal of Business & Technology Law was founded in 2005 at the School of Law as the student-run successor to The Business Lawyer. With a focus on matters at the intersection of business and technology, the Journal publishes analytical articles by leading academics, judges, and practitioners. It also provides a unique forum for scholarly discourse on issues arising from the new business and technology courts at the state level.
The Journal of Health Care Law & Policy (JHCLP) was founded in 1997 at the University of Maryland School of Law to provide a forum for the interdisciplinary discussion of leading issues in health law and policy. It is among the oldest journals at the law school, and publishes articles and manuscripts from a variety of professionals, including health law attorneys, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and policy analysts. Bolstered by the School of Law’s nationally-ranked Law and Health Care Program, the Journal of Health Care Law & Policy is one of the few scholarly journals that bridge the legal, public policy, and scientific fields.
The Maryland Journal of International Law (MJIL) provides a unique forum for scholarly discourse on a wide range of issues of international and comparative law. Authors include experts in the field of international law, academics, practitioners, and politicians
The University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class provides a forum for academics, judges, and practitioners to engage in a scholarly discussion of legal issues pertaining to race, religion, gender and class. The Journal also hosts an annual symposium that explores a current legal topic related to the Journal's focus.
The Moot Court Board is comprised of students who have demonstrated exceptional ability in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy. Day students compete for board membership during their second year and evening students compete during their third year of law school. The mission of the Board is to provide law students with an avenue to enhance their advocacy skills in appellate brief writing and oral debate. The Board accomplishes these goals by presenting a speaker series of federal and state appellate judges and practitioners, offering workshops on how to effectively write briefs and present oral arguments, assisting first and second-year students with their advocacy courses and competing in various competitions. The Moot Court program is, undoubtedly, one of the best ways for law students to develop oral advocacy and appellate writing skills.
International Moot Court
The International Moot Court is a for-credit student organization that enhances oral advocacy skills and the understanding and application of international law. Students prepare memorials for submission and perfect their arguments in the fall semester, and then compete in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the world’s largest moot court competition, in the spring semester. More information about the Jessup Competition can be found at http://www.ilsa.org/jessuphome.
For more than a decade, Maryland's Clinical Law Program has been ranked among the nation's top ten by U.S. News & World Report. A national leader, it was the first law school program in the country to receive the John Minor Wisdom Award, the American Bar Association's leading public service honor.
Each year, 25 faculty lead 250 students in providing 140,000 hours of free legal services to the community, making the Clinical Law Program one of the region's largest public interest firms. The Program allows students to work alongside faculty members on real-life cases, and gain a unique combination of theoretical study and practical experience that prepares them to hit the ground running in their legal careers.
Typically, students enrolled in clinic programs represent clients singularly or in teams of two or three. Each student also meets in a classroom forum with their clinical instructor once a week. Classes are devoted to teaching about substantive law, practice skills, professional responsibility, problems in the administration of justice and system reform. In their clinic practices students give advice to individuals and groups and engage in formal and informal advocacy, as well as transactional work. Student attorneys do a significant amount of writing by drafting letters, pleadings, agreements and organizational documents, legal memoranda and briefs. They are also responsible for the client files, both in paper and electronic forms, and they must complete a timesheet at the end of each week.
Students can participate in the following clinic curriculum:
Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$50,000 - $115,000|
|Median in the private sector||$68,000|
|Median in public service||$47,000|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||59%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||74.9%|
Areas of Legal Practice
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||16.7%|
|Public Interest Organizations||4.9%|
The School of Law’s externship program offers students the opportunity to learn, in supervised governmental and not-for-profit organization settings, about significant aspects of law and its practice. Externships fall into the following broad categories:
Each externship has a program administrator. Many students identify their own field placements and then approach the appropriate program administrator to supervise the opportunity. In other cases, students approach the program administrator first for assistance in identifying a field placement. Externships carry from 3 to 11 credits; along with the field placement, every student must enroll in a 1- or 2-credit workshop corresponding to the externship category.
Judicial internships and clerkships are excellent ways to gain experience in the legal profession. Judicial clerkships are usually one-to two-year positions in which law school graduates work closely with judges. These positions are available at all levels from county trial courts to the United States Supreme Court. The hiring criteria vary by level and, generally, the higher the court, the more competitive the positions become. Judicial clerkships are excellent positions because you become familiar with the trial process and gain valuable hands-on experience early in your career. These are great positions for students looking to transition into smaller and larger firms after the clerkship. It also allows the opportunity to take a position while you await bar exam results.
Appellate and trial courts provide different types of work and you should meet with a counselor to research these before you apply. Traditionally, law clerks who work in trial courts gain significant opportunities to engage in the trial advocacy process and observe courtroom proceedings; whereas law clerks in appellate courts spend most of their time researching and writing briefs. Competition for clerkships, especially at the higher state court and federal level, is very fierce and you should meet with a counselor in the fall of your second year to discuss your clerkship strategy.
Judicial internships are an excellent way for first-year students to gain exposure to the court system in their first summer and many second-year students also work with judges during the school year. Almost all of the courts in Maryland and the DC Superior Court, as well as many of the federal courts take first-year students as judicial interns. We recommend that you apply for those positions in early in the spring semester. Students seeking school-year judicial internships with judges should apply at least three months before they wish to work with the judge.