UM Carey Law’s programs are nationally recognized. Its Environmental Law Program is ranked 11th; its Clinical Law Program is ranked 5th. The excellence of both attracts students from around the world. The clinics provide students the full range of legal practice experiences, including trial and appellate advocacy, law reform, transactional, alternative dispute resolution, policy work and legislative and administrative agency advocacy.
UM Carey Law's clinics are a vital state resource, providing more than 110,000 hours of free legal services every year to the people of Maryland. The program's 25 professors and 250 students work in everything from civil rights, health care, immigration, community development and mediation to business, tax, international, intellectual property, juvenile, education, criminal and disability law. They serve individuals and organizations across Maryland, including people on the Eastern Shore.
The Environmental Law Clinic has a staff of 15. It includes Professor Jane Barrett, clinic director; one staff attorney; three law fellows who are recent graduates; and 10 law students who work without pay.
The 40-year old Clinical Law Program, like the Law School more generally, is funded overwhelmingly by student tuition and philanthropic support, not taxpayer dollars. Tuition and philanthropy fund nearly 80% of the Law School’s expenses. Tax dollars pay largely for employee benefits, indirect expenses, and overhead.
The American Bar Association (ABA) requires all law schools to provide "substantial opportunities for live-client or other real-life practice experiences" in order to be accredited. (ABA Section on Legal Education Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, Standard 302(b)).
Professor Jane Barrett is the lead attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance v. Alan Hudson et al. and director of the Maryland Carey Law’s Environmental Law Clinic. She is a seasoned environmental litigator with more than 30 years of experience, most of which involved defending major corporations against allegations of pollution. As required by the Rules of Professional Conduct, Professor Barrett carefully considered the facts and law before agreeing to have the Environmental Law Clinic represent Waterkeeper.
Professors in each of the Law School's different clinics are bound by the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct in selecting cases. They choose their cases based on a variety of factors including: (a) the substantive and practice expertise of the faculty; (b) the inability of the clients to otherwise secure counsel or gain access to the courts; (c) the soundness of the facts and state of the law involved; (d) the diversity of matters and types of clients the clinic is involved with; (e) the educational value of the legal problems presented and practical activities to be undertaken.