The Cardin Requirement

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Named for U.S. Senator Ben Cardin '67, the Cardin Requirement makes experiential education a key component of the law school's curriculum.

Unique among law schools nationally, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law requires every student who initially enrolls as a first year, full-time day student to provide legal services to people who are poor or otherwise lack access to justice as a prerequisite to graduation. The Cardin Requirement results in more than 150 students contributing over 75,000 hours of free legal service annually, making the Clinical Law Program one of the largest public interest firms in Maryland. Accordingly, the core of the law school's commitment to ensuring and enhancing the quality of justice in society is expressed through the Cardin Requirement.

Courses that satisfy the Cardin Requirement—offered through the nationally recognized Clinical Law Program—give students the opportunity to represent real clients in real cases. The clinical and legal theory and practice courses encourage students to develop a professional identity valuing service to the poor and other underrepresented persons and communities. Most importantly, however, the Cardin experience enables students to understand, apply, and critique legal theory and law practice to help them analyze how to improve the law and access to justice.

Read: Reflecting on the 30-year history and impact of the Cardin Requirement

About Maryland Carey Law

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.