Maryland Carey Law will bring together law school faculty, public interest lawyers, legislators and other stakeholders from across the country this fall for a national conference to examine the special challenges and opportunities of clinical law programs at public universities.
The conference, to be held in November, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of UM Carey Law’s own Clinical Law Program, one of the oldest, largest and most distinguished among the country’s law schools. Ranked fifth nationally by US News, the program each year offers more than 20 clinics providing over 110,000 hours of free legal services to individuals, families and communities in Maryland.
“As federal, state and even philanthropic support for public interest legal organizations continues to decline, the need for law school clinics has never been greater,” observes Professor Michael Pinard, who directs UM Carey Law’s Clinical Law Program. “Law school clinics help meet legal needs that would otherwise go unaddressed. We are the lawyers of first and last resort.”
The conference will explore the special roles and responsibilities of clinics at publicly funded universities, which serve multiple constituencies and are often supported, at least in part, by tax dollars. Participants hope to identify key trends in both state and private clinical law programs, as well as the challenges and opportunities for state clinical programs in the years ahead.