Sixteen students headed for the the statehouse January 23rd for UM Carey Law's annual Advocacy Day in the capital. The program gives students firsthand exposure to the legislature while keeping state policymakers up to date on developments at the law school.
“It was gratifying and uplifting to see our students in Annapolis,” said Dean Phoebe Haddon. “Because Maryland is such as small and diverse state, this legislature offers students the opportunity of making a big impact on the legal process. Many model programs are developed here and implemented on a national level.”
This year, every student shadowed a legislator for the day. After remarks from Dean Haddon, Dr. Jay Perman, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore, and Drew Vetter ‘11, deputy legislative officer for Governor Martin O’Malley, students went off with their legislator mentors to sit in on a legislative session and observe committee hearings.
"The day in Annapolis was an insightful experience into the state legislative process," said 2L Brenda Villanueva, current co-president of the University of Maryland Association of Legislative Law. "The biggest takeaways were reminders that a law degree can offer students a skill set and training that may come in handy even in the most unexpected situation."
Many of the legislators shadowed were Maryland Carey Law alumni, allowing students to gain advice from those who were in their shoes just a few years ago.
The day wrapped up with a debriefing, including some inspirational parting thoughts from Delegate Melvin Stukes and Dan Friedman ‘94, counsel to the Maryland General Assembly.
“When you are in school, you are there to learn. If the instructor asks you to read one chapter and you only read one, who are you cheating? Yourself,” said Delegate Stukes. “Don’t cheat yourself, because I guarantee you will regret it. You will look back and say ‘I wish I had paid attention to the theories and cases.’ Don’t cheat yourself.”
Photos from the day can be found on UM Carey Law’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UMDLaw.