Michael Pinard, professor and director of the UM Carey Law Clinical Law Program, has been recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change, an honor given to individuals for their outstanding public service. (See also a related story about 3L Raquel Bracho, who was also selected as a Champion of Change).
Pinard participated in a national, online conversation among law students and faculty, lawyers and social service professionals on what can be done to close the justice gap on October 13 at the White House with Attorney General Eric Holder and 15 other honorees.
With 25 faculty and 250 students, the Clinical Law Program, ranked six nationally, provides more than 110,000 hours of free legal services each year, making it one of the country;s largest public interest law firms. It was the first law school program to receive the John Minor Wisdom Award, the American Bar Association's (ABA) leading public service honor.
Pinard is a well known authority on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions, including state statutes and policies that deny voting privileges, public housing and professional licenses to ex-offenders. He teaches the Re-Entry of Ex-Offenders Clinic, in which UM Carey Law students represent ex-offenders and advocate for changes in Maryland law and policy on their behalf.
He also has written numerous scholarly articles on the topic and organized conferences that bring together ex-offenders, judges, prosecutors, police officers and social service providers to focus o n challenges that prisoners face trying to re-enter society.
Pinard is editor-in-chief of the Clinical Law Review, serves on the Clinical Skills Committee of the ABA's Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and is the past president of the Clinical Legal Education Association. He was honored in 2006 by the American Association of Law Schools with the Shanara Gilbert Award, given annually to an outstanding emerging clinician.
Professor Pinard joins a very distinguished group of other Champions of Change in the legal field. They include: